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I 





C. P. SCOTT 

1846 — 1932 




e. 


SCOTT 





C. P. SCOTT 

1846 — 1932 


The Making of 
The “ Manchester Guardian” 


LONDON 

FREDERICK MULLER LTD. 
29 Great James Street, W. C. 1 



FIRST PUBLISHED BY FREDERICK MULLER LTD. 
IN I946 

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY 
SHERRATT AND HUGHES AT 

the st. ann’s press 
MANCHESTER 



Grateful acknowledgment must be m^fc to Messrs. G. Bell 
and Sons, Ltd., for permission to reproduce material from J. L. 
Hammond’s C. P. Scott and the " Manchester Guardian ” 
(1934) and, in particular, the chapter by W. P. Crozier on 
C.P.S.’ in the Office and to the Political Quarterly for per- 
mission to print part of an essay contributed by C. P. Scott to its 
pages. 



PREFACE 


T he centenary of the birth of C. P. Scott is an event in news- 
paper history that seemed worth some commemoration. 
When Scott joined the Manchester Guardian in 1871 the paper 
was just fifty years old; he remained its editor until eight years 
after it had reached its century and its governing director for 
another two and a half years. It was a newspaper career that has 
few parallels, although editorships are not inffequendy long — 
Delane edited The Times for thirty-six years, J. L. Garvin the 
Observer for thirty-four, Alexander Russel the Scotsman for 
twenty-eight, Edward Russell the Liverpool Daily Post for fifty- 
one. But Scott, in a more real sense than almost any of these, 
made his paper. He raised a local organ, important com- 
mercially to the North-west, but negligible in national politics, 
into one with an international standing. It kept its local im- 
portance, but it also became perhaps the most representative 
voice of English Liberalism. This book is intended as a slight 
record of Scott’s achievement. It is also an account of the history 
over a hundred and twenty-five years of an independent journal. 
Such journals are less common than they were a generation ago. 
English newspaper life has undergone a revolution, and the 
group or “ chain ” system of ownership and control has become 
widespread. But the Manchester Guardian has preserved its 
individuality intact and, as described in these pages, arrange- 
ments have been made for it to be continued (as Scott, when he 
became its owner, decided that it should be) as a public service 
and not an instrument of private profit or power. The scheme 
by which the controlling ownership of the Manchester Guardian 
and Evening News Ltd. is vested in a trust is, it may be suggested, 
worth attention in present discussions of the freedom of the Press. 

5 



PREFACE 


6 

Like the trusts in different form which govern the control 
of The Times, the Economist, the Observer , and the News 
Chronicle , the Scott Trust is an attempt to meet one of the 
gravest of newspaper problems, the safeguarding of a paper’s 
independence and individuality against the encroachments of 
large-scale organisations. The same problem has arisen in the 
United States and is being approached in the same way. Adolph 
Ochs, who built up The New Yor\ Times as one of the great 
papers of the world, wrote in his will that he trusted his executors 
would so exercise their financial control of the company as 

to perpetuate The New Y or \ Times as an institution charged with 
a high public duty, and that they will carry forward and render 
completely effective my endeavour to maintain The New Yor\ 
Times as an independent newspaper, entirely fearless, free from 
ulterior influence, and unselfishly devoted to the public welfare 
without regard to individual advantage or ambition, the claims of 
party politics, or the voice of religious or personal prejudice or 
predilection. 

I trust its editorial page may continue to reflect the best informed 
thought of the country, honest in every line, more than fair and 
courteous to those who may sincerely differ with its views. 

I trust its news columns may continue fairly to present, without 
recognising friend or foe, the news of the day — “ all the news that’s 
fit to print ” — and to present it impartially, reflecting all shades of 
opinion. 

I trust its business departments may continue to conform to the 
highest standards of business ethics and that all persons associated 
or connected with any of the departments of T he New Yor\ Times 
organisation may be treated justly and generously. 

These arc high aspirations, but the words of this distinguished 
American journalist describe admirably the spirit in which C. P. 
Scott viewed the newspaper owner’s responsibility towards the 
public, a spirit that it is the aim of his successors to maintain. 



CONTENTS 


Foreword 

Sir William Haley 

PAGE 

11 

1. The “Guardian” Before Scott 

H. D. Nichols 

1 7 

2. C. P. Scott, 1846-1932 

f. L. Hammond 

3 1 

3. Scott as Editor 

journalist and editor 

C. E. Montague 

75 

liberal and humanist 

L. T. Hobhouse 

84 

“ C.P.S." IN THE OFFICE 

W. P. Crozier 

91 

SCOTT’S LIEUTENANTS 

H. D. Nichols 

n 4 


4. The “Guardian” Under Scott 


THE “ LONDON END ” 

H . Boardman 

121 

ART IN THE GUARDIAN 

James Bone 

125 

BOOKS AND REVIEWERS 

A . S . Wallace 

130 

THE GUARDIAN AND THE NEW DRAMA A. S. Wallace 

134 

MUSICAL CRITICISM 

Granville Hill 

I40 

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE 

A. P. Wadsworth 

I46 

PICTURES AND FEATURES 

M. A. Linford 



and M. Crozier 

I48 

THE SPORTS PAGE 

H. D. Nichols 

152 

COMMERCE AND FINANCE 

R. H. Fry 

157 

5. Some Writings of C. P. Scott 



ON JOURNALISM 


l60 

ON PEACEMAKING 


173 

ON LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


203 

ON IRELAND 


211 

ON MEN AND MOVEMENTS 


2l6 

6. The “ Manchester Guardian ” 

Since Scott 


C. P. SCOTT’S SUCCESSORS 


229 

LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


234 

THE CONTROL OF THE GUARDIAN 

244 


7 




ILLUSTRATIONS 


C. P. Scott Frontispiece 


From a photograph by F. W. Schmidt 

News of the Death of Queen Caroline facing page 16 
John Edward Taylor 1791-1844 17 

Jeremiah Garnett 1793-1870 32 

John Edward Taylor 1830-1905 33 

From a wood engraving 

C. P. Scott aged about 30 64 

The Freedom of Manchester, April 8th, 1930 65 

C. P. Scott at his Desk 80 

Presentation of the Epstein Bust to the City of 

Manchester, October 2ist, 1926 81 

W. T. Arnold 1852-1904 112 

C. P. Scott 113 

From the painting by T. C. Dugdale, R.A. 

C . E. Montague 1867-1928 128 

From a photograph by Lafayette, Manchester 

L. T. Hobhouse 1864-1929 129 

From a photograph by Elliott and Fry 



10 


ILLUSTRATIONS 


Herbert Sidebotham 1872-1940 facing page 144 

E. T. Scott 1883-1932 145 

From the drawing by Francis Dodd, R.A. 

W. P. Crozier 1879-1944 160 

From a photograph by Lafayette 

The Scott Trust, July 26 th , 1946 161 

Prospectus of the “ Manchester Guardian ”, May 
5 th , 1821 


8 



FOREWORD 

By Sir William Haley 


C entenaries of famous figures are very often little more 
than melancholy acts of piety. This is especially the case 
when the spirit of what the man being commemorated stood 
for is as dead as the man himself. How far this is so is a question 
that should resolutely be asked at every such celebration. The 
answer does not necessarily invalidate the occasion. Many 
famous men have been purely of their time; the value of the 
task they were called to do was nonetheless enduring because 
once it was accomplished there was no necessity for a continu- 
ance of the effort. At the same time, while such men may be 
great benefactors of humanity and figures of absorbing 
historical interest, their story cannot have the same importance 
and sense of immediacy for us as those others whose fight, ; 
however victorious, was only one battle in an ages-long 
campaign; whose work, however well done, is still left for 
following generations to do and do again. 

There is no doubt into which of the two classes C. P. Scott 
should be placed. While the ephemeral quality of even the 
best journalism is sometimes overstressed, it is in its very 
nature a continuing and unfinished business. For journalism is 
a tool as well as a task. Unendingly it has to be applied to the 
policies and the problems of each recurring day and each 
succeeding age. Every journalist taking up that tool must 
depend on his fore-writers for the state in which he finds it. 
Paramount among his responsibilities in using it is the obliga- t 
tion to do nothing to impair the truth and fineness of its cutting 
edge, its cleanness of purpose, and its precision before the time 

II 



12 


FOREWORD 


comes to hand it on. How C. P. Scott not only observed that 
obligation but improved upon it is told in this book. The 
journalism that as an octogenarian he laid down was far different 
from and immeasurably better than the journalism he had as a 
young man in his twenties taken up. But nothing he had 
conferred on it was immutable. All he had gained for it in one 
generation could be dissipated and lost in the next. 

C. P. S. himself was aware of this and those of us who 
had the privilege of knowing him in his old age, when close 
personal interest in day-to-day affairs was diminishing, and 
when he looked at the broadest issues only and in a mellow and 
lambent light, can recall that he talked about some aspects of 
the newest journalism more than once. He appreciated many 
of its qualities. He could not help wondering at what price 
they were going to be bought. Increasingly through the last 
fifteen years of his life he examined and re-examined the 
functions of the Press. Some of his most famous writing was 
given to this subject. His article on “The Manchester Guardian’s 
First Hundred Years,” written on May 5th, 1921, in which he 
stated his conception of the essence of true journalism, has 
become a kind of Declaration of Independence for all news- 
papermen. But it was not enough for him to draw up a Charter 
for the Press at large. He had to ensure the preservation of his 
ideals within his own paper. 

It may sound too cold and impersonal to say that to this end 
he fashioned two instruments and that these were his sons J. R. 
and E. T. Scott. It is, in a way, a tribute. A family such as the 
Scotts owning a paper such as the Manchester Guardian have to 
take something larger than a purely personal view of life. The 
elder son, John Russell Scott, had been the Manchester 
Guardian’s manager over the whole period of C. P. Scott’s 
complete ownership of the paper. C. P. S. was writing out of 
a long and happy experience when he said, “ A newspaper, to 
be of value, should be a unity, and every part of it should 
equally understand and respond to the purposes and ideals 
which animate it. Between its two sides there should be a happy 
marriage, and editor and business manager should march hand 



FOREWORD 


*3 

in hand, the first, be it well understood, just an inch or two in 
advance.” It was under J. R. Scott’s management and care that 
the reserves of the company were slowly built up till the 
Manchester Evening News could be bought — a vital step in the 
progress towards economic security for the Manchester 
Guardian — and the greatly extended building in Cross Street 
could be completed to house the steady expansion of the two 
papers between the world wars. On the management side, 
therefore, the succession was secure. So, it seemed, was it on the 
editorial. C. P. Scott’s younger son, Edward Taylor Scott, had 
gone through a long and careful apprenticeship. When in 1929 
C. P. Scott, while remaining governing director, retired from 
the editorial chair of the Manchester Guardian it seemed not 
only in the natural order of things but thoroughly fitting that 
E. T. Scott should take his place. When, a little over two years 
later, C. P. Scott died, we in Cross Street and the world outside 
that is interested in such things settled down to a long reign 
under the two brothers — one manager, one editor — John and 
Ted. 

It was a good partnership. C. P. Scott had the satisfaction of 
seeing it working well and fulfilling all his hopes before he 
died. He was spared by a few months the bitter pain of knowing 
that all the years of planning and of preparation had come to 
naught. For before the early summer of 1932, on the New 
Year’s Day of which C. P. Scott had died, E. T. Scott was him- 
self dead, drowned in a boating accident on Windermere. 
J. R. Scott was left alone. 

It is not possible to write of the days immediately succeeding 
that terrible blow. One’s abiding memory is of fortitude. The 
first thing was to carry the paper on. Judgment did not waver 
under stress. W. P. Crozicr was appointed to the editorship. 
Friends of the Manchester Guardian outside Manchester, who 
knew all that the paper meant to the national life but who had 
no means of knowing the individual qualities of the men on its 
staff, had suggested, in their anxiety to perpetuate the Scott 
tradition, some famous and even exalted names for the post. 
But John Scott knew his men and through twelve of the most 



FOREWORD 


*4 

difficult and troubled years in history, from the rise of Nazism 
in 1933 to 1944, the eve of its extermination, Crozier put the 
Guardian in the van of the fight. (Scott did the same thing 
again when A. P. Wadsworth, the present editor, was appointed 
to succeed Crozier.) 

But it was not enough to find a new editor. The gust of wind 
on Windermere had blown away the basic structure of the 
ownership of the Manchester Guardian and the Manchester 
Evening News and of the higher direction of the company. The 
Scott conception of the ownership of newspapers as a public 
trust did not accord with the fact of a single personal proprietor. 
Continuity of tradition was put too much in jeopardy; the 
preservation of all the papers stood for might be at the mercy of 
circumstance; a proprietor could one day come upon the scene 
who through stress or wish would not follow the Scott family’s 
self-denying ordinance where the profits of papers were con- 
cerned. Faced with this dilemma John Scott, with quiet logic, 
divested himself of all personal beneficial interest in the papers. 
It was an outstanding example of the subordination of every 
private consideration to the public interest. The wide disparity 
between the earning powers of the two papers had raised certain 
potential complications, but on margin there was a solid profit, 
and both papers were substantial capital assets. There were not 
wanting people ready to pay handsomely for the goodwill of the 
Manchester Guardian and the revenue earning capacity of the 
Manchester Evening News. Even within the scope of the then 
ownership there were lucrative possibilities had the owner been 
other than a Scott. It was true C. P. Scott had set a tradition of 
taking no profits from the papers. There was nothing legally 
binding about it. It was open to any succeeding owner to make 
his own choice. In John Scott’s mind there has never been any 
thought of choice. What his father had started voluntarily he 
set out to perpetuate legally. He made it sure that neither he 
nor his successors could derive any dividends from the papers. 
He renounced his personal ownership in favour of a Trust. He 
took into the partnership of direction a number of his 
colleagues on the papers, arranging for them to own and 



FOREWORD 


15 

administer the Company on the basis that every pound the 
papers made should be applied to the papers’ good. All this was 
not achieved easily. There is apparently in the destruction of 
personal beneficial interest something antipathetic to English ! 
law. But it was done in the end, unostentatiously and without 
any indication that something out of the ordinary was afoot. 
The signature that set the final seal on this remarkable act of 
personal sacrifice in the public interest was placed as unemotion- 
ally and undramatically as that on many a humdrum cheque. 
It was nonetheless an act of importance in the record of 
English newspaper history. Having been myself somewhat 
closely associated with the steps taken to bring it about I have 
long wished to see it made known. I think it is appropriate 
that it should be recorded in this centenary book of C. P. Scojt. 
It is all the answer required to show that his spirit lives on. / 

It is not the only answer. Having provided the papers with 
a direction for the present and buttressed their absolute indepen- 
dence for the future, John Scott settled down to the task of 
guiding their reinforcement and growth. But the orbit of that 
guidance never included either the leader or news columns. 
Though the seniority of the holders of the managerial and 
editorial roles had been reversed since C. P. Scott’s day, though 
no Scott was now in either editorial chair, John Scott observed 
the now traditional Cross Street rule of the independence and 
paramountcy of the editorial function. Through all the 
difficulties of the pre-Munich years, through the heat and stress 
of Munich itself he never indicated by approbation or dissent , 
any view to his editors. Such a relationship may appear bleak. 
It was not. He had chosen his men; he was prepared to abide by 
his choice. Praise has before now been used as a method of 
influencing decisions as powerfully as blame. To his mind the 
only safe way was to eschew either. This rule was absolute. 
Advertisers might occasionally rage. Friends of the papers who 
suddenly found themselves violently at variance with one or 
other of their policies might deplore. It made no difference. So 
for as John Scott was concerned all this was kept outside the 
editor’s door. It still is. 



FOREWORD 


16 

It may seem strange that this Foreword to a book commemor- 
ating the works and achievement of one man should deal so 
largely with another. But, as I have tried to show, C. P. Scott’s 
sons were not the least of his works. There is something fine 
and reassuring in the running true of a strong and individual 
strain through succeeding generations of an English family. 
“ Character,” said C. P. Scott, “ is a subtle affair and has many 
shades and sides to it.” But here the oudine is firm from one 
generation to another and it is of importance to all that C. P. 
Scott strove for and to the public heritage he left in his papers 
that it should be so. 

“ In all living things,” said C. P. Scott in 1921, “ there must 
be a certain unity, a principle of vitality and growth. It is so 
with a newspaper, and the more complete and clear this unity 
the more vigorous and fruitful the growth. I ask myself what 
the paper stood for when I first knew it, what it has stood for 
since and stands for now.” It is a question we can ask ourselves 
/ again to-day at twenty-five years’ remove. We need have no 
qualms about the answer. In this centenary we are paying 
tribute to a living principle as well as to a dead man. Its 
essence can be summed up in that aphorism of Archbishop 
Whatcly which John Morley liked to quote: “ It makes all the 
difference in the world whether we put truth in the first place 
or in the second place.” 




AUGUST 7th, 1821 

News of the death of Queen Caroline 




JOHN EDWARD TAYLOR, 1791-1844 

Founder and first Editor of the “ Manchester Guardian " 


I 


THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 

By H. D. Nichols 

W hen C. P. Scott joined the Manchester Guardian on 
February 8th, 1871, he was just in time to assist in 
the celebrations of the paper’s jubilee. For sixteen years the 
Guardian had been a daily paper ; before that it had been a “ half- 
weekly ”, but it had started in 1821 as a weekly and remained so 
for its first fifteen years. The founder of the paper was John 
Edward Taylor, and the Taylors and Scotts were already closely 
related before he married his cousin, Sophia Russell Scott, one 
of whose nephews was C. P. Scott. The first John Edward 
Taylor did not live to see the daily paper, though it had always 
been a goal to aim at, and his publisher and first partner, 
Jeremiah Garnett, achieved it. Looking back through its files 
the paper seems to have taken a long time over its growing pains, ^ 
for by most counts early Victorian Manchester might have been 
expected to support a daily long before 1855. Before the new 
century began, Manchester already boasted itself a “ commercial 
capital ”. By 1821 its population had quadrupled in fifty years, 
and the process showed little sign of slackening. 

But the taxes on knowledge, expressly designed to handicap a S 
popular Press, and the low level of education in all but a strictly 
limited class, were to remain for many years a drag on daily „ 
paper enterprise. A four-page paper could only be produced to 
sell at sevenpence, and after five years of what was undoubtedly 
good progress, the weekly circulation still stood at little more 
than three thousand. As the paper had then to be printed on a 
press whose output was limited to 150 an hour, it will be realised 
that there were also technical obstacles to daily publication. 
b >7 



i8 


THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 


The new venture, which began on May 5th, 1821, at the 
bottom end of a Market-street whose medievalism was just 
beginning to be slowly and expensively “ improved ”, was not 
in itself unusual. Manchester had seen many a transient news- 
sheet in the past thirty years; some quickly expired, and some 
violently, and several remained to meet the new Guardian’s 
competition, including Wheeler’s Manchester Chronicle , to 
which Taylor had himself been a regular contributor for some 
years. But the Guardian, with the Examiner and Courier, both 
to be shortly set going, was the first of three Manchester weeklies 
which were to leave their competitors behind and grow into 
successful daily papers. 

For forty years two men dominated the new paper; they had 
started it together and they worked on it in close partnership 
for twenty years. At the age of 30, John Edward Taylor was a 
successful Manchester merchant whose only connection with 
journalism had come by way of his political interests, for he was 
closely engaged in the Reform movement. He had some reputa- 
tion as a pamphleteer, had provided London papers with their 
first authentic news of Peterloo, and had written the Reform 
^party’s official manifesto on that historic affair. As a writer of 
•political broadsheets he had successfully resisted an indictment 
for libel at Lancaster Assizes and was already a public figure in 
the town when he decided to accept the offer of a number of 
friends to invest £1,100 to set him up with a paper of his own. 
The subscribers were George William Wood, Edward Baxter, 
George Philips, Thomas Bromilcy William Sanderson, Robert 
Philips, Thomas Potter, William Duckworth, Thomas Wilkins, 
Richard Potter, Samuel Pullein, and Thomas Johnson. 

Jeremiah Garnett was engaged by Taylor as his technical 
I make-weight. He was a trained printer who had recently come 
to Manchester from Barnsley. He joined the Guardian as printer 
and publisher, but in the first capacity he was soon setting great 
quantities of his own copy as a reporter. After a few years he* 
was playing almost as big a part in the public life of the town 
as Taylor himself and he survived his partner and the first of 
his sons to become editor of the paper. 



THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 


19 

Taylor’s backers when the paper started have been described by 
his wife as “ some of the most respectable and moderate persons 
in Manchester ”, which suggests a Whig rather than a Radical 
origin for the paper. And there is no doubt that both Taylor and 
Garnett disappointed the expectations of the left wing of the 
emergent Liberal party. The paper was Whig from the start, and 
cautious at that. It was clearly committed to Reform, but the 
first instalment having been won in 1832 (by which 4,293 of 
Manchester’s 180,798 population received political recognition) 
it was never among the impatient advocates of further change. 
Two full generations later it still distrusted the ballot. Though 
Taylor and Garnett were among the earliest members of the 
Anti-Corn Law League, they were never of the forward party 
in that great agitation. That battle having been won, the later 
extensions of Cobdenisiri and the policies of Bright aroused in 
the paper an antipathy which had once been reserved for Cobbett 
and the more extreme of the early Labour leaders. In municipal 
affairs, though the paper came down firmly and in good time on 
the side of the new Corporation, it was after a long period in 
which the Radical opponents of the Police Commissioners’ 
regime had found little comfort in the Guardian’s columns. 

Clearly John Edward Taylor was not starting a Radical .j 
crusade when he set his new paper off on its long career. What 
he intended and the end that he persistently pursued from its 
first number was what he set out in his prospectus, the establish- 
ment of a local newspaper “promising a degree of public 
consideration correspondent with the wealth and intelligence of 
this town and of the surrounding district and their high rank 
in the scale of national importance.” What Taylor started will 
seem to any reader of to-day as very unlike a modern newspaper, 
but it was the start of a laborious process from which the modern 
newspaper was to emerge. In 1821 it was not only the printing 
press which had a long way to go (and to go rather slowly when 
we consider how rapidly machinery was developing in many 
other fields) ; all modern ideas of editorial organisation and the 
preparation and arrangement of “ copy ” were still to seek. 
Many of them had to wait for the growth of the paper; a weekly 



20 


THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 


of a few thousand circulation can support neither foreign or 
parliamentary services nor an adequate reporting staff, and the 
ordering and display of the “ copy ” available must, before the 
sub-editor was discovered, have been largely the affair of the 
printer. 

It is perhaps the lack of any attempt at display which will 
first strike the modern reader of the old files. They give the 
impression that our great-great-grandfathers must have had 
better eyes than we have. (They surely cannot have read their 
weekly paper by lamp or candlelight or even the light from the 
Police Commissioners’ gasworks!) As if the small type and 
narrow spacing were not enough, the reader is denied all visual 
aids to finding his way about the paper. Small and barely 
“ leaded ” headlines almost merge with the general body of the 
type, while leading articles and news items, courts and meeting 
reports and market news, and a great variety of informative 
“ feature ” paragraphs are indistinguishably blended. The un- 
selective reader, one imagines, must have made a habit of starting 
at column one and going through it all. And the curious thing 
is that right from the start the compositor who set the advertise- 
ments was a master of display with all the arts at his command 
of a trade which can hardly have been ignored (it must have 
been despised) by the man who set the news. 

For news (or should we say “intelligence”?) of foreign 
affairs, never neglected in the leader columns, the early Guardian 
had to depend on the London Press and at two removes; and 
without foe telegraph it was slow to reach Manchester. 
Parliamentary news, too, came from London sources — a con- 
densation for foe Saturday paper up to foe previous Wednesday’s 
debate — but in its third issue foe paper gave a foretaste of foe 
grand-scale reporting for which it later became famous by 
producing nine and a half columns of a Commons debate on 
Petcrloo. 

Full and accurate reporting of public meetings had been one 
of foe promises of foe Guardian’s prospectus, and no pains were 
spared to give effect to this policy. If there was room for 
improvement in foe reporting standards of foe early ’twenties 



THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 21 

improvements must be made. In 1830 John Harland, another 
printer turned reporter, was brought from Hull to Manchester 
to serve the Guardian for thirty years. He is known to the 
Dictionary of National Biography as a Lancashire antiquary, but 
to Manchester he was known as the Guardian’s chief reporter, 
a fountain head through which flowed many and many- 
columned reports. For the greater part of the century only the 
grand scale was good enough for Guardian reporting; it was 
applied with a rare catholicity to a wide variety of meetings and 
with unusual impartiality to those which were most likely to 
find themselves held up to scorn or derision in the adjoining 
leader columns. Controversial manners were free and frank 
whether the paper was attacking or attacked, but if you had 
your say at a public meeting and were held worthy of notice you 
could rely on an adequate record as well as a reply. 

Throughout the long struggle for the disentanglement of local 
government, the clearing up of the compromise system which 
the Police Commissioners had substituted for the simple 
medievalism of the Court Leet and the vestries, the Guardian’s 
policy was hesitant and uncertain until it came down definitely, 
in the wake of Cobden, for incorporation. But its practice as a 
newspaper was perhaps more important than its policy in 
creating the conditions in which Incorporation won the day. 
Until Manchester got her Charter the Tory oligarchs were firmly \ 
entrenched against anything like free discussion; given the 
publicity which Guardian reporters supplied, even the unnatural 
alliance with the Radicals could not save them. 

The generosity of the paper’s reporting, of which the full 
bloom was to be seen at election times, was by no means confined 
to occasions of public dispute. Politics might come first with 
the Guardian, but other interests ran them close. The Chamber 
of Commerce, the Athenaeum, the Medical School (which long 
preceded Owens College), the College itself and the earlier 
Mechanics’ Institute, the Royal Institution, the hospitals and a 
score of minor local institutions could always count on the 
detailed reporting which came first and on the fair, if sometimes 
rough, handling in the leader which probably followed. The 



22 


THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 


prospectus had indicated wide general interests, with the promise 
that no significant local activities should be neglected, and when 
musical festivals were organised in Manchester in 1828 and again 
in 1836 the reports were to be measured by pages rather than 
columns. In 1836 in the first Wednesday issue of the paper, as 
a by-product of this musical interest, over nine columns are to 
be found devoted to a list of the guests at a fancy dress ball. 

Under both Taylor and Garnett the Guardian was much con- 
cerned with currency and banking questions on which great 
erudition was displayed both in the correspondence and leader 
columns. On labour questions and the “ condition of the 
people ” its economics were dominated by the dismal science g 
of its period; its blind spots were those of “ the most respectable 
and moderate persons ” of the day. The social historian of the 
first half of the last century does not find much of his data in its 
newspaper files. They scarcely came into the recognised field 
of political discussion. Had they done so, and been discussed 
in public meetings, they would without doubt have figured more 
in the Guardian’s columns. Housing and sanitation, the health 
and living conditions of the common man presented a picture 
of unrelieved misery to which the social conscience had scarcely v 
begun to awake. This was the reality underlying the recognised 
controversies of the time and a reality still largely neglected in 
newspaper columns as in public life generally. 

For the history of the early Labour movement, too, in which 
there was great and feverish activity throughout the ’twenties 
and ’thirties little of the evidence is to be found in the columns 
of a Whig journal. The Combination Act of 1825 had given the 
trade unions an existence merely and an ineffective one. Many 
ambitious experiments in labour organisation were made in the 
following years but under leaders and with an inspiration which 
made no appeal to the Guardian. Strikes which might more 
strictly be called lock-outs, for they were nearly all against wage 
reductions, were frequent in the cotton and building trades and 
among the engineers, and proceedings for conspiracy were a 
common-place of the police courts. Here again it was by reports 
rather than policy that the paper was justified. The trade union 



THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 


2 3 

meetings were given reasonable space, and if one-sided justice 
was often seen in the courts it did not pass unrecorded. Most of 
the early Factory Acts, a painfully slow series culminating in 
the Ten Hours Act of 1847, were passed in the teeth of trade 
opposition, though with the powerful support of a few 
exceptional mill-owners. Such legislation offended against “ the 
obvious and simple system of natural liberty ”, a principle which 
was held to apply above all to the relations of employers and 
employed. The Guardian was not active among the reformers 
in this field, nor had it much sympathy for impatient and some- 
times violent agitation. The early Acts were hopelessly defective 
on the administrative side, and the courts rarely acted effectively 
against defaulting employers. When this was pointed out, 
however, the protest received due publicity in the news, a 
necessary first step, if not a very long one, towards the tightening 
up of factory inspection. 

The paper’s circulation was still only a little over 2,000 after 
four years, but in 1835 it took over, and incorporated for a time 
in its title, the Manchester Volunteer, whereupon the sales shot 
up to 3,400. Three years later Jeremiah Garnett devised new 
methods of feeding the presses so that 1,500 pages were now 
put out in the hour. The Wednesday edition was started in 1836, 
and by the time John Edward Taylor died, in 1844, the circula- 
tion had reached about 8,000. The twice-a-week paper promised 
a new liveliness in production and delivery. It had come to the 
notice of its conductors that there were people who wished to 
have their paper at the breakfast table even if only for two 
breakfasts a week; if they would say the word it was promised 
that this should be arranged. The price too was down, a 
reduction in the stamp duty having now made it possible to put 
out “ more than has ever been offered ” for fourpence. 

A leader announcing these changes laid a new emphasis on 
the attention to be given to local affairs and promised that the 
surrounding towns should not be neglected. But the paper was 
still appealing for such news to friends and readers, who were 
invited to send “ authenticated communications on any events 
or transactions of material public concern With twice the 



THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 


24 

space to fill there was no doubt quite enough in the home town 
to occupy the paper’s professional reporters. In the first two 
numbers of the new series the musical festival and its fancy dress 
ball called for nearly two pages of criticism and reporting. Three 
days later the death and funeral of Madame Malibran took up 
four columns, and a meeting of the Medical School a column 
and a half. 

By this time some advance had been made by way of make- 
up and the orderly arrangement of news. The whole paper was 
still extraordinarily tight, and headline space sternly restricted, 
but the reader could find his way about much more readily. It 
still required more than a casual glance to pick out the various 
features, but now some of them had been allotted more or less 
regular places with which subscribers might be familiar. The 
leader columns, announced by the paper’s title and date line, 
followed by shoulder-heads for each article, but still unseparated 
from the body of the type, begin to appear at the top of a column 
and at the opening of an inside page. But it is not yet an 
organised main news-page. Two or three columns of leaders 
(now a strongly developed feature of the paper) will probably 
be followed by “ Local and Provincial Intelligence ” — four or 
jfive columns of solid paragraphs, mainly records of folly and 
(misfortune from the courts, with more than an occasional 
“ lift ” from other Lancashire papers. On the next page three 
or four columns may go to the report of a single case at the 
Salford Sessions and, overleaf, under the heading “ Domestic 
and Miscellaneous ” comes about a page of pure scissors and 
paste extracted from a variety of periodicals or more solid 
publications. There is hardly a limit to the subjects covered, and 
most of the paragraphs suggest the correct answers to a general j 
knowledge paper. There is less of this sort of thing in a week 
which happens to have provided more solid opportunities for 
local reporting, but it is to be some years before this old-style 
“ Miscellany ” is brought within bounds. So far the Manchester 
Guardian has established the tradition of its leading articles and 
its reporting, but the rest of the modern newspaper is as far 
away as ever. 



THE CORN-LAWS THE BUDGET. 

By a aptcial axprere train which left London at 
ten o'clock, wa have received a copy of an extra 
irdinarj edition of the Sun at laot evening, from 
which we compile the following nummary of the 
financial meaeure proponed lut night in the boner 
‘ common* by Sir Rouemt Pant. 

Sir Roaaar Pact propoere, — 

Tallow ; duty to be rtduccd.from 3*. 2d. pet cwt. 
to I*, (id. 

Timber (foreign): Gradual reduction to be tpoci- 
id on a future day. 

Cotton good*. Tboee on which a duty of 10 per 
cent ie now paid to be imported duty free; tboee on 
w htch there ie a duty of 20 per cent to be subject 
a duty of 10 per cent. 

Woollen good* (made up): duty to* be reduced 
from SO per cent to 10 per cent. 

Linen gooda : duty to be reduced to 10 per cent. 
Silk good*: duty to be reduced to 14 per oent 

Paper hanging*: duty reduced from It. the 
equate yard to 2d. except on the meet expensive 
kinds. 

Manufactures at Metals : duly reduced from Id 
per cent to 10 per cent. 

Umber-lead, Hardwares, Manufacture# of Hair, 
die. l duly to he eonalderahiy reduced. 

Carriage* : duty to be reduced from 20 per cent 
to 10 per cent. 

Candle* : duly to be reduced one-half. „ 

Soap (foreign) : doty to be reduced one-half. 
Hard map from 30a. to 20a.; toft, from 20*. to lia.^ 
Naples, from 20*. to Ida. 

Hide* (raw or dieemd) : duty to b* repealed. 
Boots and Shoes : duties to be reduced cm e-half. 
Straw Plat : duty reduced from 7a. Od. to A*, 
and on hata from 8a. 6d. to da. per doteo. 

Silk (dyed thrown) : duty to k* reduced. 

Foreign spirit*: duty to be reduced from 22a. lOd. 
per gallon to Its. 

Soger: the differential duly on foreign free-] 
la boar to be reduced 3a. 6d.; on alaee-grown augur, 
no alteration. 

Seeds (agricultural) : duty to be reduced to &*. 

Grain* (fur fattening eatHe) : du\y to be repealed. 
Indian Corn : duty to bs mads nominal. 

Buck Wheat : duty to be made nominal. 

Rio. Cake r to be admitted duty free. 

On butler, cheese, and hope, the duties to be 


Oa eared flab, the duty to ba reduced to la. 

e* eet 

On baaan, fresh beet, mlt beef, fresh and suit! 
pork, cattle, and everything of animal food, al 
duties to bo repealed. 

On vegetables of all kinds the duties to be ra- 

u M 

THE CORN-LAWS. 

Want. — When the average price Is under 48s. | 
the duty to he 10a.; above 40*. duty 8*.; when *0a- 
and Ala. duly 7a.; above 62*. and under 63s. 

“ -ew.roeii ww. 1 


TOE BUDGET. 

A DEFICIT OF U-TO.OOO TO lit )IKf. 

GRADI AU.D DEATH DDT! IS 
ANOTHER TENNY OX HIE INCOME 
TAX. 

H'HTOElt WJTY ON SPIRITS AND 
I BEEIl 

A CONCESSION TO PROPERTY OWNERS. 

I Tte Hmm (AM l"lc CMmlltM of Wff 8B4 

I Uttu, Sir wim*» UaitomI nM •« At* nlftidfcft to 
I tour to wit Mo litoildl ototow— i. 


TU CUAKC1LLOH nf U« KXCBI9QUM, who *u 



THE BIJIKiET. 


NEW TAXES roll SOCIAL j 
PKOGKESS. 


LANDOWNER’S "unearned 
INCREMENT.” 

higher estate duties. 

SUPERTAX ON INCOMES 
OVER £5,000. 

abatement fou children. 


MOTOR LEVY FOR BETTER 
ROADS* 

TAPPING UNWORKED MINERALS 

NEW SYSTEM OF LICENCE' 
DUTIES. 

SPIRIT AND TOBACCO TAXES 
RAISED. 

«, 000,000 FROM THE SINKING 
FUND. 

The Chancellor of tbo Exchequer, iu intro- 
ducing tli# budget in tbo House ol Common* , 
yraterday, doaenbod tt a* " a war Budget M — 

* Budget ratting money to wag# warfare 
poverty and *qu*Jor. 

Mr. Lloyd-Georgn'a speech wa* much moro 
than a renew «f tbo national finances in 
Mta pa*t year and an announcement of tbo 
financial proposal* for tbo coming year. It 
indicated the' Government'* plan* of aortal ^ 
reform for which money will bava to be. 
found in future year*. £ 

With frealf liabditie* impending for tbo!' 
■•wvj and social reform, tbo Chancellor doomed j 
H thu botdor and battor oourao to examine 
fraakly tha whole financial outlook and make I 


I846 


1894 


1909 


THREE BUDGET DAY REPORTS 




THE NEWS FROM THREE WARS 



THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 


2 7 

Russell Scott Taylor, the young editor who succeeded on his 
father’s death in 1844, scarcely survived to make any deep im- 
pression on the paper. He was only in his twenty-fourth year 
when he was carried off by typhoid in 1848. In his four years 
at the office he had seen and supported the acquisition of 
Manchester’s first public parks, the purchase of the Lord of the 
Manor’s market rights and the end of the Court Leet, the 
jubilations at the repeal of the Corn Laws and the passing of 
the Ten Hours Act. On his death, and until his younger brother 
should be ripened for the task, Jeremiah Garnett carried on the 
office and tradition of his late partner. The ’fifties were a time 
of great prosperity in Manchester, now somewhat tardily 
recognised as a city. And in 1855 when the last of the taxes on 
knowledge came off, Garnett decided for a daily paper. Unlike 
the Liberal members for Manchester, the Guardian had never 
taken an active part in the fight to repeal the taxes on its own 
product. And if Cobden, now at daggers drawn with the paper, 
is to be credited, it was one of several established journals which 
looked doubtfully on the prospect of “ free trade in newspapers ”. 
The Guardian certainly had doubts about the character of some 
of the new publications which might arise but its own 
appearance as a daily had now become possible, if not inevitable, 
and any doubts that may have lingered about its financial future 
were soon to be settled. 

With daily publication the foreign service began to develop 
rapidly. In 1855 the Crimean news, two or three weeks old, 
was quoted from various sources and both Daily News and 
Times correspondents were quoted from Paris; but there are 
already special “ Our Own Correspondent ” messages from 
Paris, from Austria and from Prussia, only four or five days old 
and often running over the column. A forerunner of the 
“ London Letter ” of later days began to appear as from “ A 
Private Correspondent” who doubled the roles of London 
gossip writer and political correspondent when not competing, 
at some length, with the leading articles. The Parliamentary 
report would run to two columns or more. District news began 
to be given distinctive headlines, and the sorting out of the news 



28 THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 

became much more orderly. The second John Edward Taylor 
was now in the office and probably the new hand was already 
at work. 

The daily Guardian started at twopence but came down to a 
penny in time for the general election of 1857, which it fought 
on a scale not before seen in English journalism. The cardinal 
issue of the Corn Laws now being well out of the way, the paper 
j was free to indulge its inclination to a central Whig policy and 
strong support of Palmerston. At the last election, five years 
earlier, there had still been some doubt whether Repeal was out 
of danger and the Guardian had then qualified an otherwise 
wholehearted attack on everything John Bright stood for by 
admitting a doubt whether Manchester could afford the gesture 
of dismissing him. Milner Gibson might go, but a Manchester 
repudiation of Bright might be misinterpreted. There were no 
such doubts in 1857. Bright and Gibson must be sent packing 
and, closely linked with them, Cobden who, owing to Bright’s 
illness and absence from the country, was coming over twice a 
week from the West Riding to take his place. The Guardian 
gave Cobden a rare fight and one suspects that he rather enjoyed 
coming over to his adopted city from the relative quiet of his 
Yorkshire constituency to give blow for blow. 

Foreign policy was the issue of the fight and the wars with 
Persia and China (“the breeze of hostilities at Canton ”) the 
centre of the argument. No quarter was given, or asked. 
Cobden and Gibson could have their whole page of reporting 
but they caught it hot and strong in the leaders, and with them 
the League which had been revived as a neo-Cobdenite organisa- 
tion with wider interests than the Corn Laws. To the 
Guardian this election was a crusade “ to rescue Manchester 
from the thraldom of the League ” and “ to end the dictatorship 
of Ncwall’s Buildings.” Cobden on his part was characteristi- 
cally vigorous about “ the vermin of your Manchester press ”, 
which as gleefully reported as it attacked him. After the 
poll the paper showed the magnanimity of the victor, with 
a truce to hard words. Cobden and Bright had gone, with 
most of their friends, and before the cheering was over the 



THE GUARDIAN BE& 0 &E SCOTT 29 

paper was hoping that their talents would not long be lost to 
Parliament. 

When the younger John Edward Taylor took over the paper 
on the retirement of Garnett in 1861, a new pace was set in its 
development. Manchester was to have at its service the resources 
of a Fleet-street daily. This was not an easy matter or to be had 
for the asking. One source of trouble was the Parliamentary 
report which, as Taylor found it, could scarcely be called a 
journalistic production. The private telegraph companies still 
dominated the scene and what the provincial papers got from 
Parliament came by way of what they called their intelligence 
department. It scarcely lived up to the name, was generally 
unreliable and sometimes incredibly bad. Taylor was one of the 
first to see the remedy and he helped to achieve it when the 
Press Association was formed, but this could not be done till 
1870. Meanwhile the paper had secured a place for its descriptive 
writer in the Commons gallery and in the same year, 1868, it 
opened its own London office equipped with two private wires, 
now rented from the Post Office. The “ Private Correspon- 
dent ” in London with his all too political preoccupations gave 
place to the “ London Letter Among its first contributors 
were Tom Taylor, the dramatist, afterwards editor of Punch, 
McCullagh Torrens, the member for Finsbury, and Tom Hughes 
of Tom Brown’s School Days. The foreign service was not 
neglected while these changes went on and by the outbreak 
of the Franco-German war the Guardian was ready with its own 
staff of war correspondents. The campaign was reported for 
Manchester as adequately as by any of the London papers. The 
new editor had found much to attend to in London during these 
changing times and soon he was living there and largely con- 
trolling his paper from London. This was scarcely an arrange- 
ment that could last. Garnett’s place as manager had been 
taken by a brother-in-law of Taylor’s, Peter Allen, but until 
the appointment of C. P. Scott there seems in effect to have been 
only a remote control of the editorial side of the paper. In the 
office the editorship was often, as it were, in commission, with 
Richard Dowman as nominal editor, John Couper, H. M. Acton 



THE GUARDIAN BEFORE SCOTT 


3 ° 

and J. M. Maclean, acting for an editor-proprietor who was 
never far from call but otherwise actively engaged at the London 
end. The second John Edward Taylor had found his role on 
the paper and was not coming back to the editor’s room 
in Manchester. That was a task for which he had chosen 
C. P. Scott. 



1821 

THE LONDON “ ROYAL REGULATOR ” 


2 


C. P. SCOTT, 1846— 1932 

By J. L. Hammond 

C . P. Scott came of stout Noncomformist stock, for his 
great-grandfather, John Scott, who had a small linen factory 
at Milborne Port in Somerset, was described as zealous “in the 
cause of Protestant Dissent and Civil and Religious Liberty.” 
His grandfather, Russell Scott, who had been educated at two 
famous Dissenting Academies, Daventry and Homerton, was 
Minister of the Unitarian Church in High Street, Portsmouth, 
and a great figure in the life of the town. His fame as a preacher 
spread far and wide and his ardour for political reform, seconded 
by his wife, the daughter of William Hawes, founder of the 
Royal Humane Society, led Joseph Priestley to predict, when he 
left England in despair in the dark days of Pitt’s repression, that 
Scott would soon follow him to the United States. Scott’s father, 
also called Russell, was born in 1801, and brought up in a family 
school where his father educated his wife’s nephews as well as 
his own children. He complained afterwards, as did John 
Stuart Mill, that his father had made him a precocious child 1 
(at the age of seven he was a theologian) and that his mind 
became a sort of hothouse plant. At sixteen he went into an 
office and at twenty-one he became partner with his uncles in 
Cory’s coal business, doing so well that he retired before he was 
forty. For the rest of his life he devoted himself to his large 
family and to public enterprises, like the Metropolitan Associa- 
tion, for improving the dwellings of the industrial classes. 
He married in 1831 Isabella Prcstwich, daughter of Joseph 
Prestwich, a wine merchant in South Lambeth, and sister of 
Joseph Prestwich, afterwards famous as a geologist. They 

3 * 



32 c. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

had eight children of whom C. P. Scott was the youngest but 
one. 

C. P. Scott was born in Bath, where his family were then 
living, on October 26th, 1846. Nine years later they moved to 
London, where they made their home in Cornwall Terrace, 
Regents Park. Scott was sent, like his brothers, to a school at 
Brighton, known as Hove House, conducted by a Unitarian 
minister. From there he went on to Clapham Grammar School, 
then in the hands of Charles Pritchard, a Fellow of St. John’s 
College, Cambridge, well known as an educational reformer and 
still more famous as a scientist. He was later Savilian Professor of 
Astronomy at Oxford, where he achieved fame as an inventor 
of scientific instruments and as the author of the scheme for 
setting up the observatory in the Parks. Unfortunately Scott’s 
health at this time caused some anxiety, and after two years he 
was taken away from this stimulating atmosphere and sent to a 
coach in the Isle of Wight. While there he kept up a steady 
correspondence with his father on public affairs and theology. 
His father was less radical than the Portsmouth preacher, but 
he was exceedingly anxious that his son should think for himself 
and not give too much weight to his father’s opinions. 

In 1865 Scott went up to Oxford. The University Act of 1854 
had thrown open the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge to 
Nonconformists, but until 1871, when all religious tests were 
abolished, the several colleges could make what conditions they 
liked. Scott’s first choice was the Queen’s College and his second 
Christ Church, but both of them required a certificate of bap- 
tism. After a good deal of discussion, in which Jowett, then a 
tutor at Balliol, gave help and advice, Scott found himself at 
Corpus. Even there he had some trouble over attendance at 
Chapel, but after an interview with the Dean he agreed willingly 
to go to chapel regularly except on Sundays, Saints’ Days or 
Litany Service Days. After composing his difficulties with the 
authorities he took an active part in introducing music into 
the Chapel services. Scott had a full and happy life at Oxford. 
He spoke at the Union, supporting, among other radical causes, 
the reform of the laws restricting the rights of trade unions. He 




JEREMIAH GARNETT, 1794-1870 
First printer of the “ Manchester Guardian ” and Editor 1844 -1861 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 33 

took up rowing with enthusiasm and success, and he gave fre- 
quent parties. He had long discussions on religion and politics 
with his friends, and as the chief of them were Churchmen like 
Jacobson, the son of the Bishop of Chester, and Owen Ilbert, 
son of a Devonshire parson, he got an insight into the minds 
of men whose upbringing had been very different from his own. 
He read hard, enjoyed the lectures of Furneaux, W. L. New- 
man and Bonamy Price, and though he fell into the Second 
Class in Mods., he got a First in Greats. He tried, unsuccessfully, 
for a Fellowship at Merton. 

In the year that Scott went up to Oxford a book was published 
that caused a great sensation and excited violent controversy. 
This was Seeley’s Ecce Homo. Two great religious leaders, 
Shaftesbury, the Evangelical, and Pusey, the High Churchman, 
condemned it. Shaftesbury called it “ the most pestilential volume 
ever vomited from the jaws of Hell.” Pusey wrote to Gladstone, 

“ I have seldom been able to read much at a time, but shut the 
book for pain, as I used to do with Renan.” Gladstone on the 
the other hand treated it with great respect, writing three long 
articles on it in Good Words and reaching a very different con- 
clusion, calling it “ an earnest, powerful and original contribu- 
tion ” to the revival of Christian faith for which he hoped. 
Morley, while full of respect for Gladstone’s articles with “ a 
temper and a breadth of outlook that show no mean elements 
in the composition of his greatness,” remarked that Seeley’s 
work was “ not a very effective or deeply influential book.” 
Whether Morley was right or wrong, the book had a decisive 
influence on a young man who was destined to play an important 
part in British public life. It gave Scott, as he said, the religion 
by which he lived to the end of his days. Scott had at first 
thought of becoming a Unitarian minister, but his speculative y~ 
beliefs were unsettled and he found in Ecce Homo an anchor . 
for his conscience and his imagination. In August 1869 he 
described his state of mind in a letter to his father: 

I believe in God and his goodness partly because my heart seems 
to witness to His living presence, partly because my reason tells 
c 



34 


C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

me that the order of the world cannot be the result of chance nor 
its glory of malignity. I believe in the Son of God because I see 
in His person a moral ideal shining with divine brightness in the 
midst of a dark age and constituting a revelation not only to that 
age but to all subsequent ones. This ideal constitutes my religion. 
To approach it myself and help others to approach it is the chief 
aim of my life. 

Scott had the peace and strength of mind that come from 
a settled oudook and conviction on the duties and mysteries of 
life, and this he owed, as he said towards the end of his life, to 
the lasting impression made on him by Ecce Homo. Few men 
have had a sense of purpose so simple, direct, complete, and 
unchanging. 

Scott thus left Oxford with his mind made up on fundamental 
questions. He left Oxford also with his career determined. His 
cousin John Edward Taylor, son of the founder of the Man- 
chester Guardian , who had taken complete control of the paper 
in 1861, did not want to live in Manchester. He wished there- 
fore to find a writer who shared his general ideas on politics 
with whom he could co-operate from London. It is not surpris- 
ing that his mind turned to his young cousin who was making 
* his mark at Oxford. He asked to see some of Scott’s essays and 
was so well pleased with them that he decided to invite him to 
join the staff, hoping that he might blossom into an editor. Scott ■ 
accepted his invitation, and after spending six months in the 
office of the Scotsman , in Edinburgh, he arrived in Manchester 
in February 1871, receiving a warm welcome from Peter Allen 
the manager, Dowman the editor, and Couper the chief sub- 
editor. He found good lodgings in Duncan Street, Higher 
Broughton. He walked to and from the office and played a good 
deal of tennis. His time-table, as described in a letter written to 
his brother in April 1871, would seem very strange to a modern 
journalist: 

My hours are pretty much as follows: I get up at 7.30, breakfast, 
read the Guardian thoroughly, and walk into town, arriving soon 
after ten o’clock. I work all day and walk back for dinner about 
six o’clock. Read or write in the evening and go to bed soon after 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1933 35 

ten. This I find not altogether satisfactory and mean to vary 
by an afternoon ramble once or twice a week. I also intend to ' 
join a gymnasium and work there for half an hour or so before 
going home. 

He soon made friends in Manchester, among the earliest 
being Walker, High Master of the Grammar School, and Pro- 
fessor Roscoe the chemist. He was also drawn into a scheme for 
improving the housing of the Manchester poor into which he 
put a great deal of enthusiasm. A society for this purpose was 
formed with the Bishop of Manchester and other eminent citi- 
zens as patrons, and Scott wrote to his father in December 1871, 
saying that he would like to give ^500 of his prospective 
inheritance to its funds. He also proposed to spend a week can- 
vassing for subscriptions. “ The matter is so important that I 
feel confident that Edward will condone the temporary neglect 
of duty of which I shall have to be guilty.” 

We hear nothing about his cousin’s views of this suggestion, 
but he cannot have been upset because in January 1872 he put 
Scott in to the editor’s chair, two years earlier than Scott had 
expected. Scott was then twenty-five, and of the men to whom 
he had to give orders some had been on the staff before he was 
born. Nature had helped him by putting a good deal of authority 
into his face and he disguised his youth by growing a beard. He - 
soon acquired a reputation for severity that those who only knew 
him outside the office found it difficult to understand. A young 
man holding a very responsible position was likely to be strict 
with his subordinates. In this case the young man had to answer 
for his conduct of the paper to a vigilant superior in the back- 
ground, for Taylor wached over the affairs of the paper and 
expected to be supplied with full information on every incident 
and detail in the administration of its affairs. He himself kept 
notes of the articles and writers that pleased or displeased him 
as he studied each day’s paper. 

Scott used at first after becoming editor to spend summer 
week-ends at Blackpool, but the increasing popularity of that 
famous resort soon made this impossible. For he needed privacy 
for the work he took with him, and, when Blackpool was full. 



3 6 C. P. SCOTT, i 846 -i 93 a 

private rooms were not to be had at a hotel, or in lodgings. The 
pressure of his work and responsibilities told on him, as we.« 
know from a letter he wrote to his son Laurence who was work- 
ing in Ancoats in 1904. He regretted that there were no settle- 
ments in Manchester when he was a young man. “ Dull and 
dismal enough it was in lodgings, and I used to spend twelve 
hours a day I remember at the office as a refuge, a mistake, for 
that is the time I ought to have formed the habit of systematic 
reading. Only having the whole responsibility thrown on me 
a year after I got there I naturally took the work hardly and it 
cost me an illness, almost the only one of my life.” 

Scott escaped from all these discomforts by a very happy mar- 
riage. In October 1872 Madame Bodichon, the well-known 
> feminist who helped to found Girton, introduced Scott’s sister 
to Miss Rachel Cook, daughter of John Cook, Professor of 
Ecclesiastical History in the University of St. Andrews. Miss 
Cook, of whom George Eliot said that she was the most beau- 
tiful woman she had ever seen, was one of the seven original 
students at the Women’s College at Hitchin which afterwards 
migrated to Cambridge to become Girton. She took the Classical 
Tripos at Cambridge in 1872. She had known no Latin or Greek 
till within a few months of going to Cambridge, but she was 
put into the second class, and it became known that one of her 
papers on Aristotle had been considered the best submitted. Scott, 
discovering her gifts when he made her acquaintance, enlisted 
her as a reviewer. In November 1873 he wrote to her from Paris 
thanking her for her charming little review and telling of a 
h conversation with Gambctta and of the “ hard struggle for life ” 
that Liberty was having in France. Their friendship developed, 
and in May 1874 they were married in London. They found 
their first home in The Breeze, Kcrsal. In 1881 they moved to 
The Firs, Fallowfield, where Scott lived to the end of his life. 
From the time of her marriage to the breakdown of her health 
nearly thirty years later Mrs. Scott was a most valuable and active 
colleague. She shared all Scott’s political interests and discussed 
the questions of the day with him. She was a remarkably good 
speaker, making a great impression in London during the Boer 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 37 

War. She also contributed not a little by her aesthetic taste and 
literary talent to Scott’s success in giving to the Manchester 
Guardian for the first time a serious standing as a critic of culture. ’ 
This was the first change that Scott made in the character of 
the Manchester Guardian. It was fortunate for him that Man- 
chester was at that moment alive with important movements, 
and rich in men of intellectual distinction. The new spirit of 
city pride and zeal for education showed itself in the founding 
and development of Owens College. Manchester, while still 
suffering from the depression caused by the American Civil War, 
raised a quarter of a million to make John Owens’ great bene- 
faction an institution worthy of a great city. The College, 
growing gradually into a University, drew to Manchester a 
number of scholars, scientists and historians of the first rank. 
Scott moved happily and eagerly in this society, and as an editor 
he found at his door writers, who were masters of their subject, 
ready to put their knowledge and tastes at the service of his 
paper. As the paper acquired a reputation for distinction in this 
field it became easy to attract contributors who were eminent 
in one or other department of literature or scholarship. Among 
men of Scott’s own age Saintsbury and A. W. Ward were writing 
in the seventies on literature, Dill on classical scholarship, Man- 
dell Creighton and Bryce on history, Richard Jefferies on Nature, 
Comyns Carr and Walter Armstrong on art, and Arthur Evans 
on archaeology. Freeman and Goldwin Smith were voices from , 
an older generation. Nowhere was the change in the paper more 
noticeable than in the character of its dramatic criticism. We 
have a picture of the earlier arrangements of the Manchester 
Guardian in a letter Scott wrote to his sister in 1871, in which he 
said that he thought of making himself dramatic critic. “ Our 
head reporter does the work now but very badly. He is a somc- 
Kwhat dour little dissenter, and his heart is not in his work. He 
handled Sothern and a new play of Byron in such a way the 
other day that I shall be compelled to write a second notice.” 
A. W. Ward came to the rescue, and it soon became known that 
anybody who brought a good play to Manchester, or who tried 
to raise the standard of acting, could count on finding his work 



g8 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

discussed in the Manchester Guardian by a brilliant man of 
letters. What the paper did for the theatre in the next thirty 
years can be seen by a study of the pages of a little volume called 
The Manchester Stage, published in 1900, which has preserved 
some of the work of the four men who treated the theatre in 
its columns during those years, W. T. Arnold, Oliver Elton, 
C. E. Montague and A. N. Monkhouse. 

Scott, who gave a great deal of thought and trouble to improv- 
ing the range and quality of the paper as an organ of culture, 
paid great attention also to arrangements for improving its news 
service. John Edward Taylor had acquired in 1868 a London 
office with two private wires and these facilities made it much 
easier for the paper to keep in touch with the outside world 
and to make use of special correspondents and distant contribu- 
tors. The Manchester staff did not adapt itself at once to these 
changes if a story of the Franco-German War is true. It is said 
that the news of the Sedan disaster, sent by the paper’s corre- 
spondent in France, arrived as a leader-writer was leaving and 
that he thought it more important that he should catch his train 
to Altrincham than that he should take some notice of this dis- 
turbing communication. Under Scott’s direction the tone and 
rhythm of the life of the paper were quickly changed. What he 
did for its dramatic and literary criticism he did also for the 
special correspondence of the paper, adding to its political 
importance by sending out men whose standing and knowledge 
secured for their views serious attention. In the seventies and 
early eighties Arthur Evans, the discoverer of the Minoan 
civilisation, travelled for the paper in the Balkans, where he was 
arrested by the Austrian police as a dangerous character. Scott 
gave his correspondents their independence, only asking that 
they should be truthful reporters. He sent J. B. Atkins to 
South Africa in the Boer War, although Atkins was not in 
complete agreement with the paper, having confidence in his 
integrity. 

When Scott went to Manchester the Guardian was a moderate 
paper and the Examiner the Radical organ. In one of his earliest 
letters he wrote: “ I have decided to be put up along with Mr. 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 29 

Allen for the Reform Club. This club is at present very much in 
the hands of the extreme Radical party — the Examiner party 
in fact — who chiefly got it up. It is represented to me as not 
agreeable or desirable in any way from a strictly social point of 
view, but it is a political centre and I should not like not to have 
the entry at election times.” Scott’s letters at the time show how 
/cautious and circumspect was the Liberalism that nature and 
training had given him. He was angry with Gladstone for sug- 
gesting in a speech on the Ballot Bill in 1870 that the franchise 
might be further extended, arguing that it had to be shown that 
a further extension would be likely to produce a better govern- 
ing body, “ and that I fancy it would not be easy to show.” 
Writing in the paper on Jacob Bright’s Bill for Women’s 
Suffrage in 1871, he accepted the case for enfranchisement but 
urged delay until a sound education and a larger experience of 
life had redressed “ the balance, at present so ill-adjusted, between 
reason and emotion.” “Among women are to be found the 
strongest supporters of every new crochet, the most ardent 
enthusiasts of every ephemeral emotion which is stirred in the 
public mind.” About Chamberlain’s crusade for Disestablish- 
ment he wrote: “ A great organisation, which has done more 
than can be calculated to elevate and to console the people of 
many generations, is to be torn up by the roots from the basis 
on which hitherto it has rested, and to be transformed into we 
know not what.” If Scott had died in 1880 he would have 
accomplished his first aim of making the Manchester Guardian 
a paper worth the attention of men and women of serious cul- 
ture, but the paper would not have been known as a leader of 
great causes or an active combatant on great issues. The change 
in the political character of the paper came with the titanic con-' 
test over Home Rule. Thomas Hardy, after a visit to London 
at this time said that the struggle into which the British people 
had been thrown was a struggle between the strongest impulses 
that can govern man. It was a new experience to Scott to find 
himself in such an atmosphere. At first his instincts led him to 
look doubtfully on Gladstone’s plan. But he accepted it once 
it was clear to him that the only alternative was perpetual war 



4 o C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

with Ireland. Freeman wrote a series of articles on the question, 
treating the problem in a large historical setting, and reaching 
the conclusion that “ either Ireland must be free or else she must 
be more thoroughly conquered than ever.” Scott had gready 
strengthened his staff in 1879 by appointing W. T. Arnold, a 
writer who had made his mark by a book on the Roman 
Imperial system. Arnold realised that what was wrong with 
Chamberlain was that he saw the Irish problem as something 
smaller than it was. Thus Scott’s practical and flexible mind\ 
combined with Arnold’s imaginative power to produce the 
strongest case for Home Rule to be found in the Press. The 
Manchester Guardian thus took a new place in public life, as the 
most accomplished and effective voice on the side of Home Rule 
in the day-to-day struggle that absorbed all the attention and 
excited the deepest emotions of the British people. 

This experience was an education for Scott himself as well as 
for his public. There was something of the atmosphere of revo- 
lution in a struggle that excited hope and fear, passion and 
imagination on a scale unknown in politics during Scott’s life. 
He was himself affected by it. He retained to the end of his 
days a judicial quality of mind that was invaluable in an editor 
l who had to guide and control the fire and the force of gifted 
' writers with strong individual characteristics. But inhibitions 
f that had made him more prudent than enterprising in judging 
new ideas lost their hold over him at this time. This was a 
specially important change, for social and industrial problems 
were beginning to force their way to the front and the earlier 
Scott would have been cautious in welcoming the new ideas that 
were to transform Liberalism and to bring about the great 
reforms that are associated with the Governments of Campbell- 
Bannerman and Asquith. As it was the Manchester Guardian 
played a part of signal importance in this modernisation of 
Liberalism. Its home was in a part of England where the con- 
flict between capital and labour had often been crude and violent, 
and Manchester was traditionally associated with the undiluted 
gospel of laissez faire. Scott determined to put the case for new 
and generous ideas before his public without considering how 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 41 

his public would take them. Arnold presented and defended the 
claims of the dockers in the great strike of 1889, Montague 
those of the miners in 1893, and Hobhouse those of the 
engineers in 1897. Montague summed up in one sentence the 
bad principle on which the old system rested: “ The idea that 
wages, in other words the living, the comfort and the civilisation 
of the great mass of men is to be the one elastic and squeezable 
thing in a business has got to go.” Another sentence in a leader 
by Hobhouse on the engineers’ strike of 1897 showed how 
completely the Manchester Guardian had broken with the 
illusions of laissez faire: “ The power of organised capital is the 
standing danger of democracy.” 

The outbreak of the Boer War in 1899 threw these domestic 
issues into the shade, and for three years the nation was absorbed 
in a controversy that revived in a still fiercer temper all the 
passions that had been excited in 1886 over Home Rule. The 
Liberal party was sharply divided. Its right wing followed Grey 
and Haldane; its left wing followed Morley, Harcourt, Bryce, 
Robert Reid and Lloyd George. Asquith leaned to the right 
from the beginning, but he was a moderating influence in the 
first stages. Campbell-Bannerman, having just been elected 
leader of the party in the House of Commons in succession to 
Harcourt, was also a moderating influence in the first stages, 
though like Spencer and Ripon he leaned as clearly to the left 
as Asquith to the right. As the controversy grew sharper these 
two men diverged, and when C.B. made his famous attack on 
“ methods of barbarism ” in June 1901, the party almost split 
in two, Asquith, Grey, Haldane and Fowler joining to form the 
Liberal League, a body small in numbers but strong in wealth 
and influence. Behind the Liberal League was Rosebery, who, 
though much more critical of Milner and Chamberlain than his 
lieutenants, was regarded as the future leader of an Imperialist 
Liberal Party. The tension was acute for, when C.B. attacked 
form burning, Haldane and Grey went so far on the other side 
as to support the proclamations that outlawed Botha and the 
other Boer generals in the field. 

From the first Scott had been active in organising and 



42 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

educating opinion against the War. He had entered the House 
of Commons as Member for Leigh in 1895 (after three 
unsuccessful attempts in North-East Manchester) and thus he 
had been able to watch from the centre of politics the sinister 
growth and unscrupulous adventures of a predatory Imperialism ) 
that had become a danger to the British Empire. The escapades 
of Rhodes and the Jameson Raid were the outward signs of the 
malignant power that J. A. Hobson described in his analysis of 
South African society. Hobson, whose book became a classic, 
had been sent to South Africa by Scott as special correspondent 
of the Manchester Guardian. It was not surprising, therefore, 
that Scott acted with the group in the House of Commons that 
followed Morley in his criticisms both of the Government’s 
surrender to Rhodes and its forward policy in the Sudan. The 
Sudan conquest justified itself in history by the sequel, but Scott 
was suspicious with good reason of the temper that the Govern- 
ment displayed and the dangerous spirit with which it sought 
to intoxicate opinion. When hostilities seemed imminent in 
South Africa in the autumn of 1899, Scott persuaded Morley to 
speak at a great meeting in Manchester to warn the nation 
against war. During the war Scott was naturally a great deal in 
London, but he was fortunate in having two exceptionally gifted 
leader writers in Montague and Hobhouse, who argued the case 
for conciliation with consummate power. The Manchester 
Guardian made itself extremely unpopular by the course it 
pursued, though serious opponents recognised its force. 
Scott was unmoved by crude attacks like the cartoon in 
which he was pictured taking a bribe from Kruger, but he did 
on one occasion reply to a private letter that he received from 
a distinguished Manchester citizen, who said that, painful 
though it was, he was obliged to break off relations with Scott 
and the paper. He could only conclude from Scott’s opposition 
to the war “ either that political life has partly deprived you of 
reason or that you have preferred the supposed advantage 
of a political party to the good of the country.” It is pleasant 
to be able to record that when a quarter of a century later Scott’s 
admirers presented his bust by Epstein to the City of Manchester, 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 43 

the name of the writer of that letter appeared on the list of 
/donors. 

In spite of the unpopularity of his views, Scott kept his seat at 
the Khaki Election of 1900. His time and thoughts were much 
occupied in the next few years by anxiety over his wife’s health, 
which broke down and made it necessary for him to take her 
abroad. He decided that he would leave the House of Commons 
at the end of the existing Parliament. In November 1905 Mrs. 
Scott died, and Scott lost an invaluable colleague as well as a 
devoted wife. *- 

Scott was thus out of the Parliament that was returned at the 
great Liberal victory of 1906 to which the Manchester Guardian 
had made such an important contribution. But the election had 
greatly increased his personal influence, for he was in close 
touch with some of the leading Ministers in the new Govern- 
ment. Bryce, who was a very old friend, was not in office long, 
for in February 1907 he went to the United States as 
Ambassador. Churchill, who had entered the Government as 
Under Secretary for the Colonies, had fought and won a Man- 
chester seat at the election (North-West Manchester) and thus 
he and Scott had been thrown together. But the two men 
with whom Scott was most intimate were Loreburn, the new 
Lord Chancellor, and Lloyd George, the new President of the 
Board of Trade. Scott had interviews and correspondence 
with other Ministers, including Morley, Grey, and McKenna, 
but he saw Loreburn and Lloyd George more constantly 
than any others, and they had a considerable influence on his 
opinions. 

The Liberals who had given the new Government so huge 
a majority had a pretty clear vision of what they expected from 
it. They hoped to redress the wrong of the Boer War by giving 
South Africa self-government, to take a good step towards Home 
Rule, to cut down expenditure on the fighting services, to settle 
the education question and to introduce a series of large social 
reforms. This programme was carried out except that the Irish 
advance came to nothing because the Irish politicians rejected 
it. The Manchester Guardian was enthusiastic for this 



44 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

programme and its support was, of course, exceedingly 
effective. What neither the Liberal voters nor any other section 
of the public realised was that a revolution had taken place in 
British foreign policy, and a revolution of the highest 
importance. This had happened under the Balfour Govern- 
ment. Lansdowne had made an alliance with Japan and he had 
formed an entente with France which had rapidly grown into a 
much closer connection. 

It is important to remember how this entente had arisen. 
Outwardly it was an arrangement to setde disputes that had 
caused friction between the two countries, and as such it was as 
welcome to Liberals as to Conservatives. But in fact it was much 
more than this, as is clear when we study its history. In 1900 and 
1901 Lansdowne and Chamberlain made up their minds that 
isolation had become dangerous to the British Empire in a 
Europe which had shown a good deal of hostility in the Boer 
War, and where acquisitive and competitive instincts were 
growing in strength. They turned first to Germany, but 
Holstein, the most active and formidable figure in the German 
Foreign Office, overreached himself. He thought that Britain 
could never come to terms with France and Russia and he there- 
fore demanded at once a complete and total alliance, thinking 
that Britain would have to take what terms Germany chose to 
give her. The Balfour Government then turned to France, and 
'the Entente followed. The chief feature of its provisions gave 
Britain a free hand in Egypt in return for her recognition of a 
special French interest in Morocco. This Entente was 
strengthened in a very short time by the action of Germany, 
who began to try to bully France and to seduce Britain into drop- 
ping it. Lansdowne was naturally very uneasy at the prospect of 
losing the Entente and letting France come under the power of 
Germany, a prospect that did not seem remote when German 
bluster compelled the French Government to dismiss Delcassi, 
the Foreign Minister who had carried out the negotiations with 
Britain. He therefore promised France full support in resisting 
German pressure. When the Liberals took office, a conference 
was about to be held at Algeciras at which Britain was pledged 



5 2 


C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 


White Paper, that Germany had thwarted Grey’s efforts for 
peace in rejecting his proposal for a Conference. 

When war came Scott saw at once that all controversy over 
pre-war policy must be suspended and that we were involved in 
a struggle that demanded the undistracted strength of the nation. 
For the next four years he was in close contact with leading 
Ministers. In the early stages of the war he made up his mind 
that Lloyd George and Churchill stood out among Ministers 
as men of action. When the first war crisis occurred, the public 
anxiety and agitation over the question of supplies for the army, 

‘ he was insistent in private and in public that the control of 
munitions should be in Lloyd George’s hands. In a letter to 
Lloyd George of May 24th, 1915, he wrote, “ It isn’t Munitions 
alone that you will have before long to organise, I expect, but the 
nation for war.” When Lloyd George was in this office, Scott 
was able to obtain for the nation the services of Dr. Chaim 
Weizmann, at that time Reader in Biology in the University 
of Manchester, who submitted to Scott a plan for manufacturing 
chemicals then much needed for war. The Government were 
anxious about the supply of acetone, an essential element in the 
) manufacture of cordite. Acetone is produced from wood, and as 
Great Britain is not a great timber-producing country, we were 
dependent on imports from America. Dr. Weizmann discovered 
Mother ways of producing acetone. Lloyd George was always 
ready to listen to anybody who had a suggestion to make that 
might be useful, and he took up his plan. Incidentally this 
introduction had important political consequences, for Dr. 
f Weizmann met Balfour and turned him into an ardent Zionist^ 
Scott was less happy in his efforts to bring Sir John Fisher back 
into public life. Fisher had retired from the Admiralty in 
^dudgeon. Scott was pertinacious in urging the Government to 
recall him but Scott’s account of a long conversation he had with 
Asquith on March 8th, 1916, on this subject, showed that there 
were stronger grounds for their adverse decision than Scott had 
supposed. 

In the autumn of 1916 the war was going badly in the East of 
Europe and the uncertainty of our military prospects produced 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 53 

reactions. Lansdowne prepared and submitted to the Cabinet a 
memorandum urging that the Allies should reconsider and 
restate their terms rather than continue an exhausting war for 
purposes that might be beyond their strength. Lloyd George, on 
the other hand, who held that anything that made it appear that 
the Allies were losing confidence would encourage Germany, 
proposed that a small Committee should be formed to run the 
war, and that Asquith should not be a member of this Commit- 
tee, though he should remain Prime Minister. Scott was, of 
course, most anxious that Lloyd George should be able to use 
/his power of drive and concentration to the fullest advantage. 
On November 28th he wrote to Hobhouse about a leader he 
proposed to publish. 

It was written under a growing sense of the futilities of 
the present conduct of affairs — witness the increasing sca- 
peril and the hideous disaster of Rumania — Ireland also — the 
y/ fumbling half and halfness, more irritating than any resolute 
action, of our dealings with Greece — the long trifling with the 
military situation at Salonika — it is the same all round. Of course 
there is the question of an alternative. It must almost inevitably be 
Lloyd George, with Asquith possibly as Lord Chancellor and 
Balfour in some purely honorary office. But terms would have to 
be made with LI. G. — e.g. the reinstatement of Fisher, and, in 
some degree at least, of Churchill, and perhaps I ought to have a 
heart-to-heart conversation with him before taking any decisive 
step. ... Of course he has, from our point of view, great defects 
of temperament and outlook, but it is a question of alternatives 
and of the immediate use of his practical and efficient qualities for 
a definite purpose. I have a growing conviction that with the 
present men we shall not win the war, and that the utmost we can 
sj nope for is a draw on bad terms. Hindenburg has changed the 
whole aspect of affairs for the Germans, George might do some- 
thing of the same sort for us. 

This letter was written on November 28th, 1916. Within a 
fortnight what Scott desired had happened and Lloyd George 
had become Prime Minister. Scott was in constant touch with 
him during the discussions and negotiations that led up to this 
event. He saw Lloyd George on December 3rd, 4th and 5th. 
After that time he was laid up with a bad cold and did not see 



^4 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

Lloyd George again, though he wrote the leaders on this subject 
from his bed. 

Scott spoke in his letter to Hobhouse of Lloyd George’s “ great 
defects of temperament and outlook During the six years of 
Lloyd George’s term of office Scott had often to criticise him 
fiercely, and at one time their personal relations were strained. 
But he never doubted that the change of December 1916 was 
necessary, and on November 30th, 1918, after victory, at a time 
when he was sharply critical of his friend, he wrote in a leader, 
“ He has done more than any other man in public life to win 
the war.” 


The two domestic questions that were nearest to Scott’s heart 
in British politics during the lifetime of the C.B., Asquith and 
Lloyd George Governments were the questions of women’s 
suffrage and Irish Home Rule. 

The prospects for women’s suffrage looked favourable in two 
respects when the Parliament of 1906 assembled. Four hundred 
Members had pledged themselves to vote for it, and the Prime 
Minister himself was a supporter. But this was a superficial 
aspect. The trouble was that no party except the Labour Party, 
which contained 40 Members, was agreed about it. Owing to 
this division neither of the older parties could take it up. 
Unfortunately both parties believed that their fortunes would 
be affected by the enfranchisement of women. Radicals believed 
that their prospects would be injured by a measure enfranchising 
a small number of women, and Conservatives that their 
prospects would be injured by a measure enfranchising a large. 
It was thus very difficult to get the House of Commons to vote 
in a non-party sense on this non-party question. 

During the Parliament of 1906-9 two Private Members’ Bills 
passed the House of Commons. The first, proposing to 
enfranchise women on the same terms as men, passed its second 
reading in 1908 by a majority of 179. The second, an Adult 
Suffrage Bill enfranchising men and women alike on a three 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 55 

years’ residential qualification, passed its second reading in 1909 
by a majority of 26. 

In the new House of Commons elected in January 1910, the 
friends of Women’s Suffrage tried to get over the difficulty that 
Radicals objected to one plan of enfranchisement and 
Conservatives to another. They formed a Committee drawn 
from all parties, and prepared a Bill known as the Conciliation 
Bill, designed to secure the maximum of support. Scott, who 
was active in advising the Committee and in defending its plan 
in his paper, described the Bill as necessarily modest in order to 
meet Conservative objections, but so drawn as to meet Liberal 
and Labour objections by giving no special advantages to 
property. What was perhaps most important, the Committee 
persuaded the militant suffragettes, whose campaign of violence 
had alienated many who were friendly to the cause, to declare 
a truce. In this atmosphere the Bill had a great success on its 
second reading on May 5th, 1911, gaining 257 votes to 90. Lloyd 
George announced that the Government would give a week to 
the Bill in the following session, i.e., in 1912. 

Politics took a new turn in November 1911 when Asquith 
stated that before going out of office the Government would 
introduce a Reform Bill and that it would be open to the House 
of Commons to insert the enfranchisement of women. Scott 
took a hopeful view of the new prospect. Grey was to move an 
amendment to the Government’s Franchise Bill to omit the word 
“ male ” and then three rival amendments would be moved 
giving votes respectively to all, to many, and to a few women. 
Grey and Lloyd George were to conduct a campaign in the 
country. “ Women have waited long,” Scott wrote, “ for their 
enfranchisement; it is now at hand.” “ Mr. Lloyd George,” he 
wrote in another article, “ has hitherto strenuously opposed the 
Conciliation Bill. He has done so on the ground that a larger 
measure is needed and could be carried. If it is proved to 
him that it cannot be carried he will oppose no longer.” 
Unfortunately Scott reckoned without the militants. They were 
full of suspicion and reverted to their violent methods, attacking 
with special fury supporters of women’s suffrage. Scott himself 



56 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

was told that he was stupid and a coward. The renewal of 
disturbance on a greater scale had an immediate effect. It 
happened that the Conciliation Bill came on before the Govern- 
ment introduced its Franchise Bill, and whereas in May 1911 
the second reading had been carried by 257 votes to 90, it was 
now defeated, the supporters having fallen to 210 and the 
opponents having risen to 224. Liberal opponents had increased 
from 35 to 74, Unionist opponents from 46 to 115, and the Irish 
opponents from 9 to 35. The Irish figures are easily explained. 
They were afraid that if women’s suffrage were carried, Asquith 
would resign and the cause of Home Rule would suffer. But the 
increased opposition in the other parties was undoubtedly due 
in part to the revival of militant methods. 

Scott was very active in seeking to allay suspicion and to 
remove its causes. For suspicion of the Government was wide- 
spread among suffragists. When the Government’s Reform Bill 
passed its second reading on July 13th, with a majority of 72, 
rumours were spread about that Asquith would resign if the Bill 
were amended by the introduction of women’s suffrage. These 
rumours were mischievous for two reasons. They were likely 
to turn some supporters into opponents and they excited deep 
suspicion among the Suffragettes. Scott saw how important it 
was to check them, and he wrote both to Grey and Asquith. 
Grey replied that for Asquith to resign would be inconsistent 
with the promise he had given that the Government would 
accept the decision of the House, and he tried to kill the rumour 
by sending a letter to a public meeting in Glasgow in which he 
said there was no truth in this report. Asquith replied in a letter 
to Scott that his public declarations were perfectly plain and con- 
sistent, and that he did not feel called upon to take any notice 
of such rumours. But all Scott’s hard work in the cause came 
to nothing, for the Speaker astonished the House of Commons 
and the Government by pronouncing that a women’s suffrage 
amendment would not be in order. The Government had relied 
on the precedents of the Bills of 1867 and 1884 when such 
amendments were allowed, but at the last moment the Speaker 
came to this unexpected decision. Scott’s one hope now was to 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 57 

get Grey and Lloyd George to say that they would not enter 
another Liberal Government unless it put Women’s Suffrage on 
its programme. There seemed a good chance that they might 
take this course. But when Parliament was dissolved women 
were already enfranchised. This was one of the results of the 
war. In February 1918, after a Speaker’s Conference which 
reviewed the whole subject of the reform of Parliament, women’s 
suffrage passed into law. The great part played by women in 
the war had convinced the majority of politicans that their 
exclusion from the franchise was unjust. 

Fortune was less kind to Scott’s other special cause. With the 
passing of the Parliament Act Irish Home Rule had come back 
into British politics. The Home Rule Bill introduced by the 
Asquith Government passed its third reading in January 1913 
with a majority of 109; a fortnight later it was rejected by the 
House of Lords by 326 votes to 69. Bonar Law, who had suc- 
ceeded Balfour as leader of the Opposition in November 1911, 
made a speech at Blenheim containing a declaration inviting 
Ulster to go to extremities in its efforts to defeat the Bill. “ I can 
imagine no length of resistance to which Ulster will go in which 
I shall not be ready to support them.” Thus encouraged, the 
Ulster Unionists drew up a Covenant which pledged those who 
signed it to “ use all means that may be found necessary to defeat 
the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in 
Ireland.” During the next two years Ulster was in violent 
agitation, raising an army, collecting munitions, and arranging 
to form a provisional Government if ever Home Rule became 
law. Behind the scenes the Ulster Unionists were encouraged 
and assisted by no less a person than the Director of Military 
Operations in the War Office, Sir Henry Wilson, who described 
in his diaries without any shame how he fomented unrest 
in the Army and plotted with the Ulster leaders against 
the Government that he was serving in a most responsible 
position. 

Lorebum, who had retired from office in 1912, made an effort 
in the autumn of 1913 to avert the dangers into which the 
country was being drawn by these proceedings and manoeuvres. 



58 c. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

After consultation with Scott he wrote a letter to The Times 
suggesting a conference on the Irish question. Scott supported 
his plea in a leading article in the Manchester Guardian. 
Encouraged by the guarded welcome that leaders on both sides 
gave to the idea of a negotiation Loreburn proceeded to outline 
his ideas for a settlement in anonymous articles in the Manchester 
Guardian. He suggested that Ulster should have a special 
Minister in the Irish Parliament, that no Irish Act should apply 
to Ulster unless it was supported by the majority of Members 
for the Protestant area of Ulster, and that patronage should be 
in the hands of a special body. Loreburn was in close touch with 
Lansdowne who, as a Southern Unionist, disliked the idea of 
separating Ulster. Scott supported the proposal and discussed 
vft with men of all schools. But it received short shrift. Garvin 
wrote to Scott that the Unionist party would not look at it, and 
Dillon wrote to Scott that the only effect of the publication of 
Loreburn ’s articles had been to make the Ulster question much 
/more serious; that it was like “ throwing petrol on the embers 
"of a dying fire As for “ the dying fire ”, Sir Samuel Dill wrote 
at the same time to Scott from Belfast describing and deploring 
the violence and the resolution of the Ulster Unionists. The 
Scott-Loreburn plan was dropped and Scott set to work on the 
rival scheme of excluding Ulster or part of Ulster. He had 
meetings with Morley, Loreburn, Garvin, Geoffrey Dawson and 
others, and he was in constant touch with Dillon. A study of 
his papers shows, what Spender brought out in his “ Life ” 
of Asquith, that the actual differences that defeated conciliation 
were not of great importance. But the Unionist leaders were 
frightened of the spirit they had raised by their reckless 
manoeuvres, and the Irish leaders were afraid of the rising power 
of Sinn Fein. So strong was this obstacle that when the leaders 
met at Buckingham Palace in July 1914, with the knowledge 
that there was a serious danger of a European War, they were 
unable to overcome it. 

History repeated itself after the Easter Rebellion of 1916. 
Asquith made another effort to find a settlement and Lloyd 
George was sent to Ireland to negotiate. He brought back a 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 59 

scheme on which Redmond and Carson were agreed. But 
though Balfour and Bonar Law accepted it, Lansdowne and 
Long refused their support and the scheme was abandoned. 
Scott thought that Asquith should have let Lansdowne, Long 
and Selborne retire. On the other hand, after he had had talks 
with Redmond and Carson, he was not at all sure that they could 
have got their followers to accept their agreed plan. In May 1917, 
when Lloyd George was Prime Minister, the Irish question was 
forced again on British attention, this time by the British 
Ambassador in the United States, as well as by Page, the United 
States Ambassador in London. Page reported that President 
Wilson wished him to explain to Lloyd George that “ only one 
circumstance now appears to stand in the way of perfect co- 
operation with Great Britain.” The one circumstance was the 
unsetded Irish problem. Lloyd George decided to make another 
attempt, and at his request Scott went to see Redmond at Bath 
to discuss plans with him and if possible to break down his 
suspicions of Lloyd George. The result was an offer from Lloyd 
George in May 19x7 either to bring the Home Rule Act into 
operation with the exclusion of six counties, or to set up an Irish 
Convention. The second alternative was suggested by Redmond. 
The Convention, over which Sir Horace Plunkett presided, met 
in July 1917, and after a chequered career presented a report in 
April 1918. Its work was ruined in the next twenty-four hours 
by a blunder on Lloyd George’s part that threw into the shade 
all the blunders committed by the Government he had displaced. 
The Convention reported on April 8th; on April 9th Lloyd 
George, disregarding a unanimous declaration from the sub- 
committee of the Convention on defence, signed by Covenanters 
as well as by Nationalists, announced that conscription would 
be extended to Ireland. By the 13th, in spite of an impressive 
protest from Asquith, the proposal had been adopted by 
Parliament. Scott was of course dismayed. “All the information 
that reaches us,” he wrote in the Manchester Guardian, 
“ whether from private or public sources, goes to show that the 
Government are deliberately preparing catastrophe.” He wrote 
to Dillon: “ Of course I realise with you all the folly and 



6o 


C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 


wickedness of the course on which he (Lloyd George) appears 
to be embarked, and it would seem hardly credible, apart from 
some sinister design, did not one learn more and more every day 
of the almost limitless folly possible to governing men.” Another 
sentence in his letter shows how desperate a view he took of this 
policy: “Of course it would be far better to overthrow this 
Government than to allow the policy now contemplated to go 
through.” Thus, when the war came to an end, Lloyd George 
had killed the Convention and killed the Irish Parliamentary 
Party. To Scott, looking back to Redmond’s speech at the out- 
break of war and to Grey’s reflection that Ireland was the one 
bright spot, and recalling all the hopes he had founded on 
Lloyd George’s accession to power, this was a specially 
bitter catastrophe. From this time until Lloyd George was 
driven by the conscience of the British people to change his 
Irish policy, Scott was his most severe and his most effective 
opponent. 

On November 2nd, 1918, a few days before the German 
armistice was signed, Lloyd George wrote to Bonar Law that he 
had made up his mind that a general election ought to be held 
as soon as possible. On the first rumour of Lloyd George’s 
intention Scott had protested strongly against such a proceeding. 
“ Such a Government so elected,” he wrote in a leading article, 
“ would have no real authority for the future. It would have 
selected a moment when the country was, as it were, disarmed, 
and all political parties but its own at a disadvantage and in 
*disarray, in order to seize power.” Of Lloyd George’s election 
methods he was equally severe. “ We venture to say,” he wrote 
on December nth, “ that in no election within living memory 
have the issues — the really effective issues on which stress is laid 
and by the aid of which it is hoped that votes may be won — 

, been so paltry, or the mode of their presentation been so reckless 
and vulgar.” A few weeks later he took a step that was not easy 
for a man who had been so intimate with Lloyd George. It 
was proposed to make Lloyd George an honorary member of 
the Manchester Reform Club, with a view to making him 
President later. Scott wrote two articles in the paper criticising 



6i 


C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

this proposal strongly, recalling the facts of the December elec- 
tion, and arguing that Lloyd George was not entided to the 
confidence of a Liberal Club. 

Scott had been one of the earliest advocates of a League of 
Nations, and in the autumn of 1916 the paper had published an 
American supplement containing articles by Bryce, Gilbert 
Murray, Eliot of Harvard, and ex-President Taft. In the early 
months of 1918, he had come to think that the hope of victory 
and a reasonable peace depended entirely on the United States. 
After the armistice he sent a message to the New Yor £ World 
in which he said that President Wilson was the only statesman 
of the first rank who had concerned himself to think out any 
policy, and that the principles he had sought to establish, if 
honestly applied, would give the world a peace that would com- 
pensate for the immense losses of the war. When Wilson came 
to England in December 1918, he visited Scott in Manchester. 
He asked Scott what bearing the result of the elections would 
have on foreign policy. Scott, whose resilient optimism wasr 
fortified, no doubt, by his desire to give Wilson encouragement, 
replied that it would have none; that it represented simply a 
passing emotion and that all the better and deeper feelings of 
the nation would respond to an appeal. 

The results of the Peace Conference were a sad disappointment 
to Scott. The history of the Nazis has put those events into 
rather a different perspective, and the Liberals who judged the 
terms by the ideal standards represented by President Wilson’s 
Fourteen Points, took perhaps in some respects too harsh a view 
of the Treaty. Scott was exceedingly dissatisfied. He condemned 
not only the irresponsible temper displayed in the treatment of 
Europe’s grave economic problems— the defect that specially 
impressed Keynes — but several of the political dispositions. 
While the Conference was in progress he was hopeful that Lloyd 
George, as well as Wilson, was going to be a force on the right 
side, but in the end he had to admit disillusionment in respect 
of Wilson himself. Writing to Hobhousc about one of his 
articles in January 1920, he said: “ I was so glad you fired off 
that last shot at Ll.G. and his betrayal of the League of Nations. 



62 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

I had the same sort of feeling of desperate regret and disillusion 
when I read his reply to Asquith, as when I first realised that 
the whole policy of the Fourteen Points had been utterly 
abandoned with the connivance of its author.” 

The Lloyd George Government, at whose birth Scott had 
$ nursed such hopes, lasted till November 1922, when it was 
destroyed by the revolt of the mass of the Conservative party 
under Bonar Law’s leadership. During 1920 and for most of the 
following year Scott was in bitter opposition. At one time Lloyd 
George spoke as if he looked forward to making a permanent 
party out of the Coalition. Scott warned him sternly against 
any such project: 

How can Liberalism that is of any value ally itself permanently, 
let alone “ fuse ” itself, with elements of thought, tradition, and 
interest so deeply opposed to its own, and live? It is possible to 
divide the Liberal Party for a time and thereby gravely to injure it. 
It is possible by thus weakening it to drive some of its more active 
elements out of the party and into the ranks of Labour. It is possible 
to draw some of its more conservative elements into direct asso- 
ciation, or fusion, with the Conservative Party. It is not possible 
to do any of these things without striking at its life. Neither is it 
possible for the Prime Minister, or anybody else, to do these things 
and yet retain for himself a Liberal following of the slightest value 
( or permanence. It is a road to ruin, and, though the foil conse- 
quences may be delayed, they are there, sure enough, and will 
involve personal consequences ultimately as disastrous as the 
political. 

Still more severe were the articles Scott wrote during the evil 
period of the Black and Tans. The paper followed the miserable 
{ sequence of outrage and reprisal with closeness and assiduity, 
giving great prominence to its special correspondents’ messages. 
On October nth, 1920, after the sacking of Balbriggan (which 
had been described in the Guardian by the correspondent who 
is its present editor) Scott wrote: 

Something is happening in Ireland which is new in our history- 
unexampled at least, for more than a hundred years — but the 
Ireland of to-day is not the Ireland of 1798, and the listening world 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 63 

is not the same world. What was tolerated then in the way of law- 
less violence by the forces of the Crown, though even then not 
without strong protest from responsible British statesmen, will not 
be tolerated now. . . . Englishmen are at bottom resolved to do 
justice to Ireland. Still more are they resolved in the process to 
keep their hands decently clean and their reputation in the world 
J unsullied. That is where Mr. George is failing us. 

In another article he compared Lloyd George’s treatment of 
Ireland to the German treatment of Belgium. Day after day he 
returned to the attack. He put into his articles all the power 
that his self-control gave to his indignation, and if the Govern- 
ment was gradually borne down by the pressure of moral 
opinion, Scott’s pen (with the relentless pressure of his paper’s 
publicity) was one of the chief forces in putting an end to the 
terrorism of the Black and Tans. Asquith observed in a letter ✓ 
to a friend that the blows he received from Scott were the hardest 
that Lloyd George had to bear. 

The year 1921 was memorable in the history of the Manchester 
Guardian for two reasons. The paper had been founded in 1821 
and Scott had joined the staff in 1871. These events were noted 
in the Press by public men. At no time was public encourage- 
ment more welcome to Scott, for the Irish situation was at its 
worst and the cause that had been closest to his heart since 1886 
seemed in desperate case. Encouragement came in a most im- 
pressive form for public men of all schools and newspapers of 
all opinions joined in tributes to his courage and sincerity and 
to the integrity and sense of fairness that had distinguished his 
treatment of political issues, however contentious the issues, and 
however warm his sympathies. Asquith, Curzon, Lord Cecil 
and many other statesmen described his great qualities and the 
distinction that his paper had won both at home and abroad. 
In Manchester a dinner was held at which Lord Derby presided, 
and Lord Cecil paid Scott a compliment that became memorable, 
saying that he had made righteousness readable. Mrs. Fawcett k 
was present, and representatives of other causes that had had 
good reason to be grateful for Scott’s help. 

One letter, owing to an accident, did not reach Scott till the 



64 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

next day. It was from Lloyd George, whose policy was at that 
moment receiving harder blows from Scott than from any other 
pen in the kingdom. His letter ran : 

Pray accept my warmest felicitations. The centenary of the 
Manchester Guardian , and your own jubilee as its editor, repre- 
sent a period of unexampled progress in British journalism. Your 
personal record is an honour to your great profession. You have 
maintained its noblest traditions in the great paper associated with 
your name, and it is highly fitting that public men representing 
every shade of public opinion should join in congratulating you on 
the splendid attainments of the past, while at the same time wishing 
you and the paper a career of equal brilliance and success in the 
future. 

Scott wrote in answer: 

My Dear George, 

Your kind and welcome message, by some bungling of the hotel 
people has only reached me to-day and can therefore only appear 
in to-morrow’s Manchester Guardian . I am sorry for that, because 
I should have liked the meeting to hear it, and, among all those 
friendly voices, it seemed in a way unnatural, after all these years, 
to miss yours. 

I wish events had not so utterly divided us. Your Irish policy 
breaks my heart, and what makes the thing worse is that I have the 
feeling that it isn’t the real you that is finding expression either 
there or in the European policy, but that circumstances have laid 
a heavy hand on you. Forgive me for speaking so. I could not 
do it if I had not loved and admired you. 

Yours sincerely, 

C. P. Scott. 

/ Lloyd George was the most unaccountable man in public life, 
and Scott was kept from despair by knowing that he was guided 
more by impulse than principle. He had taken a course in Ireland 
that had brought shame on the British name and had excited 
a volume of indignation in Britain which Lloyd George resented 
but could not altogether disregard. In rousing that indignation 
the Manchester Guardian had played a leading part. 

* In the summer Lloyd George made overtures that led up to 




G. P. SCOTT 

t/grd iibout ’o 



THE FREEDOM OF MANCHESTER 
Presentation of the Snoll h\ the Lind Mayor, Sir Noton Pan lay, 
April tith, i<)}0 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1931 65 

negotiations with the Irish leaders. Scott noted and welcomed 
the first symptoms of a change. On July 16th he wrote: 

Consistency is sometimes a virtue, sometimes it is the opposite. 
No one can accuse the Prime Minister of paying it undue respect. 
It is as easy for him to turn his back upon himself as upon his 
record. If you cannot always trust him to persevere in well-doing, 
neither is there ever cause to despair of his willingness and capacity 
to redeem an error. He has an ardour of imagination which enables 
him to see every situation as he wishes to see it, and he finds it easy 
to carry others with him, because he is able first so wholeheartedly 
to carry himself. It is a great gift. It has led him at times into 
, horrible lapses. At the moment it looks as though it might go far 
1 to redeem them. 

Lloyd George did not disappoint these hopes. Although a few 
weeks earlier he had denounced Asquith’s suggestion for 
Dominion Home Rule as “ lunacy ”, pictured Ireland sowing 
the sea with mines, and declared, “ we are not going to quad 
before a combination of a handful of assassins ”, he was soon to 
plunge into negotiations with the Irish leaders and to promise 
them very much more than Dominion Home Rule. Once 
embarked on this new course Lloyd George knew that he must 
either succeed or involve his country and himself in illimitable 
disaster. The Unionist leaders who went into the conference with 
him, Austen Chamberlain and Birkenhead, were in this respect 
in the same case. The negotiations were often difficult and more 
> than once they seemed in danger of collapse. Scott, who was 
almost the only man who held the confidence of both sides, gave 
valuable help at critical moments and the Irish Treaty was signed 
in the early hours of the morning of December 5th, 1921. Scott, 
who had been constantly at Lloyd George’s side during the last 
forty-eight hours, lunched with him on the day of the signature, 
and they recalled memories of the struggle for Home Rule 
which had played so great a part in their lives. 

Scott rejoiced in the Irish achievement, but he was still most 
distrustful of the Government, and he was delighted when the 
Coalition collapsed after a crisis over Turkey in which Scott 
blamed Lloyd George and Mr. Churchill as reckless and 
s 



66 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

incapable. After the fall of the Coalition Scott hoped to see a 
gradual reunion of Liberals with Lloyd George now released 
from the bad influences that had so often misdirected his energies 
and his gifts during the last six years. Reunion was effected 
in 1923 in consequence of Baldwin’s threat to Free Trade. 
When a Labour Government took office in 1924 Scott hoped the 
Liberals and the Labour parties might work together, and deal 
with the coal problem and other industrial questions on which 
he thought accommodation possible. But MacDonald was 
sensitive and suspicious, the Liberals were often tactless, and 
though the Liberal party had put the Labour Government in 
power, there were Liberal elements that were strongly anti- 
Labour. Scott bitterly regretted the Dissolution of the autumn 
of 1924, dividing the blame for that blunder between the 
progressive parties. In the ensuing general election the Con- 
servatives raised their numbers from 258 to 415, Labour lost 41 
seats and the Liberals 116, being reduced to a party of 42 
Members. 

Peace had been made in 1923 between the Asquith and the 
Lloyd George Liberals but it did not last very long. It was broken 
in the General Strike of 1926. The strike began on May 3rd, and 
the Liberal “ Shadow Cabinet ” met that day and decided to 
condemn it and to support the Government in resisting it. 
Asquith, Grey and Simon made speeches on these lines, but 
Lloyd George, who had been present at the meeting, it was noted, 
criticised the Government more than the strikers. When another 
meeting of the “ Shadow Cabinet ” was summoned for May 
10th, Lloyd George wrote to the Chief Whip announcing his 
intention of absenting himself on the ground that he dissented 
from the line taken by “the leader of the party and others 
wielding great authority in the party ”. He published at the 
same time a pessimistic article on the strike and the general 
situation in an American paper. Asquith sent him a letter 
unusually severe in its terms, breaking off relations. “ It was in 
my judgment,” he said in the course of the letter, “ the primary 
duty of all who were responsible for Liberal policy, and certainly 
not least of the Chairman of the Parliamentary Party in the 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 67 

House of Commons (Lloyd George’s position since Asquith had 
gone to the Lords after his defeat at Paisley in 1924) at such a 
time to meet together for free and full discussion, and to con- 
tribute their counsels to the common stock. Your refusal to do 
so I find impossible to reconcile with my conception of the 
obligations of political comradeship.” He went on to complain 
of Lloyd George’s American article: “ It contains a desponding 
though highly-coloured picture of our national straits. It 
depicts a long duration of the conflict and the ultimate wearing 
down of the steadfastness of our people through ‘ worry about 
their national trade ’.” 

Lloyd George, on receiving the letter, decided to consult Scott 
before replying. Scott described what happened in a private note : 
“ I dined with him at the Midland and went through his pro- 
posed reply to Lord O. with him. It was written with consider- 
f able acerbity. I cut out everything provocative, and left it full of 
mildness and dignity. He accepted the revision with complete 
good humour and has often joked about it since.” Scott thought 
this was “ the most serviceable thing he ever did for Ll.G.” Scott 
was strongly on Lloyd George’s side, for he believed that the 
danger was not that the strike would succeed, or that it would 
commend itself to the British people as a form of political action, 
but that if it were mishandled it would lead to a bitter class 
quarrel with lasting results. On the other hand, he told a friend 
that he thought Lloyd George made a mistake in writing the 
American article. “ Of course, journalism is not his job, and he 
ought not to have been tempted to earn money in that way. But 
apart from that general objection, I don’t think the American 
article is open to serious criticism, and his general plea for 
moderation is wholly to his credit.” 

Later in the same year Scott took the opportunity of a public 
dinner given to him at the National Liberal Club to celebrate 
his eightieth birthday to urge the Liberal and Labour parties to 
co-operate: 

The Labour party, though it leans strongly towards a Collectivist 
solution of social problems and may not unfairly be described on 
the whole as a Socialist party, is, in fact, based almost wholly on the 



68 


C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

trade unions, which in principle are not Socialist at all, but sec- 
tional, and are accustomed to act without any particular regard to 
the interests of the community as a whole, regard for which is the 
very root principle of Socialism, rightly understood. This and the 
class feeling which an almost purely working-class organisation 
naturally engenders is perhaps the real dividing-line between 
Liberalism and Labour. It is important in principle, but it is a 
good deal less important in practice, and certainly need not prevent 
co-operation with the Labour party over a very wide field. 

On the other hand, how profound are the sympathies which 
should draw the two parties together and make co-operation easy. 
Is not, for both of us, social justice our primary aim and the raising 
of the condition of the poor and the disinherited ? Are we not alike 
the apostles of peace? Is not their patriotism, like ours, large 
enough to extend its view beyond our own borders and to include 
other nations and other civilisations in its sweep? Do we not 
alike place right above power and recognise that force is the appro- 
priate instrument of a lower, not of a higher civilisation ? And arc 
not these elements of union strong enough to overcome minor 
differences and to enable the two parties, with reasonable good 
sense, to steer a common course and make real progress once more 
possible for the nation ? 

The last years of his editorship, if they brought new and diffi- 
cult problems, brought also new signs of the admiration and 
affection with which he was regarded on all sides. He was 
specially delighted when his old college, Corpus, elected him to 
an honorary fellowship in 1923. He was a very loyal Corpus 
man, and he rejoiced to find himself in a select company which 
included among others his lifelong friend Robert Bridges. He 
received in May 1925 a generous compliment from Mr. Baldwin 
that gave him great pleasure because it came from a political 
opponent whom he respected who had often been criticised 
severely in the paper. Mr. Baldwin was speaking at the News- 
paper Society’s dinner, London. He said: 

While it would be an impertinence for me in my ignorance to 
venture to tell you how you should conduct your ousiness, I yet 
feel that I cannot do wrong before I sit down to read to you the 
words of one of the greatest of living journalists on the ideals of 
your profession. Speaking on journalism and the conduct of a 
newspaper, he said: 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 69 

“ Fundamentally it implies honesty, cleanness, courage, fairness, 
and a sense of duty to the reader and the community. The news- 
paper is of necessity something of a monopoly, and its first duty is 
to shun the temptations of monopoly. Its primary office is the 
gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the 
supply is not tainted. Neither in what it gives, nor in what it docs 
not give, nor in the mode of presentation, must the unclouded face 
of Truth suffer wrong. Comment is free, but facts are sacred. ( 
Propaganda, so called, by this means is hateful. The voice of 
opponents, no less than that of friends, has a right to be heard. 
Comment is also justly subject to a self-imposed restraint. It is 
well to be frank; it is even better to be fair.” ' 

Those are noble words, and it is a counsel possibly of perfection, u 
but in them is the ideal of the higher type of English journalism, 
which is the highest type in the world. They are the words of 
Scott, of the Manchester Guardian . And as one who has read 
newspapers all his life, I can imagine no higher ideal for a great 
profession to live up to. 

Scott thought more and more anxiously, as individual news- 
papers were swallowed up in syndicates, about the functions 
and duties of the journalist, and such a tribute to his own con- 
duct and example was highly valued. The following year his 
eightieth birthday was celebrated by the presentation of his bust 
by Epstein to the city of Manchester, to be kept, as Lord Derby 
said on the occasion, “as a memorial of one who in difficult 
times always tried to do his duty.” Manchester received the gift 
but all England gave it, for the subscribers included the most 
eminent names in politics, religion, art, and letters; three 
ex-Prime Ministers, the two Archbishops, the leading politicians 
of all parties, the Poet Laureate, and such writers as Galsworthy, 
Shaw, Wells, Bennett, and Barrie. Nor were the subscribers 
limited to Scott’s fellow-countrymen; they included M. V&ii- 
selos, Count Sfbrza, Dr. Breitschcid, and M. Stefannson. In the 
course of his speech on this occasion Scott gave in a terse form 
his views of the functions of a newspaper: 

A newspaper has two sides to it. On the one hand, it is a business 
like any other business, carried on for profit and depending on 
profit for prosperity or existence. On the other hand, it may be 
described as a public-utility service, a service which may be per- 



JO C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

formed well or ill, but which, on the whole, is essential to the 
interests of the public. These two elements in the life and purpose 
of a newspaper are not always in accord; they may even violently 
conflict. Yet on their harmony the character and usefulness of a 
newspaper must depend. 

After a reference to the growth of newspaper syndicates, he m 
made an allusion to his own paper which excited much 
enthusiasm : 

There arc papers which will never be sold — which would rather 
suffer extinction. And it is well that it should be so. The public 
has its rights. The paper which has grown up in a great com- 
munity, nourished by its resources, reflecting in a thousand ways 
its spirit and its interests, in a real sense belongs to it. How else 
except in the permanence of that association can it fulfil its duty 
or repay the benefits and the confidence it has received? 

Scott took measures to prevent the paper from falling into the 
hands of persons who might use it as a property rather than a 
•trust. He made it a rule that the ordinary shares of the paper 
should always be held by members of the family who were 
working on the staff. He made it a rule when he acquired the 
paper in 1907 to draw a modest fixed salary and never to take 
any profits. He treated the paper, in respect of his own personal 
interests as in every other respect, as if it were a great public 
organ, serving the community as directly as a Department of the 
Civil Service, with a sense of responsibility equally strong. He 
was able to give the paper this character because he had a steady 
judgment and a mind that was observant, judicial and coura- 
geous. He drew enthusiasm into his paper and then guided it. 
He used the impulses of impulsive men without creating an 
impulsive paper. The men who worked under him when he was 
making what had been a moderate, cautious Liberal paper into 
the leading moral force in Liberal journalism in Europe, brought 
great gifts to its service; ideas, enthusiasms, literary power, 
independence of the narrower spirit of party or school. All this 
force was guided and disciplined by a master hand. No paper 
could have afforded so brilliant a staff of writers had it not 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 71 

possessed an editor whose gifts of courage, foresight and of 
judgment matched their gifts of inspiration. 

It was not until 1898, when Scott was over fifty, that he began 
to keep his own leading articles. The records show that during 
most of the time he was in Parliament he never wrote. Between 
1906 and the outbreak of the war he wrote mostly on his special 
subjects which were Ireland, women’s suffrage and the House of 
Lords. During the war he wrote a great deal. He found that he 
enjoyed writing more and more, and after the war he continued 
the practice. In the year 1919 he wrote one hundred and seven- 
teen “ long leaders ”, in addition to a number of short articles, 
and in 1920 one hundred and twenty-three. On some critical 
occasions he wrote almost every night for a fortnight. He 
had extended his range and wrote a great deal on foreign 
policy and the League of Nations. The day-to-day treatment 
of these questions demanded the most careful and constant', 
study, and Scott’s remarkable capacity for hard work was 
quite unaffected by his years. At the age of eighty he was 
able, after a hard evening’s work, to devote the next morning to 
the intensive study of a blue-book, and at all times he kept up a 
vigorous correspondence with public men on political topics. As 
a leader writer he excelled in presenting a case or a subject in a 
manner that made his readers think. In early days his leaders 
^ were often dry and too academic. In later life he developed an 
easy style which concealed the subdeties of his argument, and 
the mass of knowledge on which he drew. On occasion he 
could show that he was master of the most effective of all 
weapons, passion kept under strict control. But he liked best 
addressing himself to the man who used his reason, and not 
the man who lived in his emotions. He was probably the most 
I persuasive of the paper’s leader writers. 

In July 1929, Scott decided to retire from the editorship, remain- 
ing the governing director of the Manchester Guardian. The 
news of his resignation was received in England and in foreign 
countries with a sympathy and interest which showed that, 
having found the Manchester Guardian a paper important to 
Manchester, he was leaving it a paper important to die world. 



72 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

Of the tributes that were paid to him only a few can be men- 
tioned here. The King sent a message — “ For fifty-seven years 
you have been responsible for the conduct of a great newspaper, 
and his Majesty, while regretting your resignation, congratulates 
you on an achievement which must surely be unique in the annals 
of journalism.” The Archbishop of York, preaching in Man- 
chester Cathedral, prefaced his sermon with the following 
allusion: 

A great newspaper is a potent factor in modern life, and Man- 
chester is jusdy proud both of its great journal and of its citizen 
who made that journal great. Alike in the selection of material 
that should find place in its columns and in the guidance offered 
to nations or cities he has made righteousness a standard of action 
and conscience the arbiter of policy. For such an exercise of wide- 
spread influence we should thank God. 

The Prime Minister wrote of Scott’s noble work to make the 
world a better place to live in; General Smuts wrote that Scott’s 
work had strengthened the roots of the good life in innumer- 
able other lives; the Swedish Minister Baron Palmstierna said 
that he spoke for the northern countries of Europe in regretting 
Scott’s retirement and in acknowledging his influence in foreign 
lands; Signor Nitti said that Scott had made the Manchester 
Guardian the most authoritative organ of the European move- 
ment for democracy and peace. In the Press, both at home and 
abroad, remarkable tributes were paid to the qualities which 
had given a national and international reputation to a man the 
whole of whose journalistic work had been anonymous. When 
those tributes arc studied, it is easy to understand what President 
Wilson meant when he said that Scott was one of Europe’s great 
men, and why Nansen wrote to him when he was organising his 
campaign for relieving the Russian Famine in 1922: “ I do not 
think I am overstating the case when I say that your support 
will make all the difference between failure and success.” 

It was a great delight to Scott after receiving praise and honour 
from all parts of the world to receive in his old age the greatest 
honour die city of Manchester could bestow. In April 1930, 



C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 73 

he became a freeman of the city. The presentation was made a 
great ceremony in which thirty Lancashire and Cheshire mayors 
took part, and speeches were made by the Bishop of Manchester 
and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool. Scott, who excelled in the 
kind of speaking which demands perfect taste, made a reply 
which was at once most appropriate and most characteristic. 
Manchester was a great metropolitan city known all over the 
world for her trade and her traders. But that was not Mam» 
Chester’s only claim to renown. In the ancient world commerce 
and culture had gone hand in hand, and Manchester had fol- 
lowed that great example in founding her University and 
offering to her industrial people that education in the arts and 
sciences which had become a monopoly of the well-to-do in the 
ancient universities. He went on to speak of the problems that 
still awaited solution. 

Like all the other industrial towns which sprang up in Northern 
England at the time when machinery revolutionised the means of 
production, we suffered from the speed of an unregulated and 
haphazard development. The Factory Acts have remedied some 
of the evils thence arising; the Education Acts have remedied some 
of the others. But much — very much — remains to be done. To 
abolish the slums, to restrain overcrowding, to reduce, if so it may 
J be, our vast canopy of smoke — to bring light to the bodies as 
well as the minds of the people — these are no easy tasks. ... It is, 
above all, because I am convinced that the governing body of this 
great city has alike the power and the will to deal with them that I 
am proud to become an honorary freeman of Manchester. 

That speech reflected the spirit of Scott’s career. He was a 
realist with a careful eye to practical needs; a man of culture 
with a sense of the importance of ideas and the arts that inspire 
and express them; a man of action ready for bold remedies, and 
to the end of his life a man of faith who believed that no wrong 
existed which could not be set right with courage and goodwill. 

Scott lived long enough to see the crisis of 1931. He took the 
same view as his son, who had succeeded him in the editor’s 
chair, that the National Government was a bad blunder. He 
wrote to his son from Bognor: “ LI. George seems to me the 



74 C. P. SCOTT, 1846-1932 

only Liberal leader who has courage and insight to deal with 
the situation, and he, unhappily, is out of the fighting ranks.” 
(Lloyd George was recovering from an operation.) A few days 
later he wrote that the party was “delivering itself bound hand 
and foot to the tender mercies of the Tory party, whose prime 
object is to plant Protection, as a permanent policy, firmly on 
our necks.” He returned home thinking that as the paper was 
*“ breaking right away from the bulk of the party ”, his son 
might like to have him at hand for consultation. 

He died in the early hours of New Year’s Day 1932. 



1821 

A STEAM PACKET ADVERTISEMENT 



3 

SCOTT AS EDITOR 


JOURNALIST AND EDITOR 

By C. E. Montague 

S cott had the prime requisites of a true journalist as distinct 
from a politician or trader who uses a newspaper mainly as 
a hoarding or mainly as a means to wealth. He believed with all 
his heart that, to be worth bringing out, a daily newspaper must 
be, all round, an instrument of civilisation. Of course no 
decent journalist consciously believes the opposite. But to some 
journalists a daily newspaper presents itself irresistibly as a space 
on which the placards of a party can he plastered, and not, vividly j 
and imperiously, as anything else. Some others approach their 
work naturally and instinctively as a branch of commerce; they 
mean to be honest traders and not do dirty tricks to get a little 
extra money; still, the making of money by skill and quickness 
in giving the public, or some special part of the public, just 
what it wants to buy is their steadily governing aim. Others, the 
true journalists, feel that they fail if their paper is not, in all its 
parts, a faithful assistant to every man or woman who has keen 
interests and really wants to understand, whatever their special 
interests may be. Whether it pays or not, whether it furthers a 
party’s interests or not, this, in their eyes, has got to be done, 
simply because it is the one thing supremely and unquestionably 
worth doing. 

That Scott was steadily bent upon having the news services 
and the critical and other non-political work of his paper well 

75 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


76 

done was the more to his credit because for himself politics far 
I outweighed all other public interests. It is true that he had the 
serious all-round culture of the best Victorians; he had distinct 
likings in sculpture and painting, and was a friend and stout 
champion of Madox Brown in the years when, amidst much 
foolish censure and derision, he was painting for the Manchester 
Town Hall the greatest modern English mural paintings; in 
some forms of decorative art he had a special interest — he was a 
skilful judge of furniture, pottery, and jewellery. But none of 
these tastes amounted to a passion ; he was not a collector, seldom 
visited a theatre, and hardly ever went to a concert except to 
hear some artist who, like Rosing, was a personal friend. But he 
desired ardently that all the civilised human interests should be 
discussed in his paper with knowledge and enthusiasm and 
./without that facile complaisance towards popular rubbish which 
some worldly minded controllers of journals have inculcated 
as a piece of practical wisdom. A critic who had been severe 
to fashionable and much-advertised but second-rate work was 
always sure of Scott’s loyal backing in whatever might follow. 
And no member of his staff was ever subjected to the iniquity 
of a suggestion that the winds of criticism should be tempered «, 
for some distinguished author or artist whom the editor knew. 
By no chief could the independence of a critical writer have been 
more honourably respected. He did not even demand continuity 
of critical policy, for he recognised that criticism can only have 
the highest value when it is intensely individual. It did not 
trouble him at all that Arthur Johnstone, the Guardian 
musical critic in the later nineties, should write from a point of 
view fundamentally different from that of his predecessor, 
Fremantle, or that Ernest Newman, in turn, should confront 
the paper’s readers with yet a third system of critical 
variations. All that mattered, within the wide limits of sanity,/ 
was sincerity and power. Scott selected critical writers with 
extreme care, but with no reference whatever to their opinions 
or matters outside their subject: many of those whom he valued 
most were extreme Conservatives, one a Roman Catholic pre- 
late, another an anarchist. Such things would sometimes give 



JOURNALIST AND EDITOR 77 

a little scandal to rigid-minded people. They were really the 
practical expression of a belief that the measure of fundamental 
unity between all honest intellects that are eagerly putting them- 
selves forth upon worthy objects of effort is greater than that 
between the subscribers to any one set of articles of political, 
religious, or artistic faith. The only consistency for which Scott 
sought in all the critical work of his paper was that which gives 
a certain cohesion to the utterance of any number of different 
minds that love a subject and long to know and tell about it. 

II 

The fundamental political ideas which Scott expressed with 
almost no modification throughout his editorship were perhaps 
the last upon which a shrewd observer of the times would have 
thought it possible to base a career of great influence and 
distinction. Just when the great vogue of the rationalistic and 
utilitarian Liberal philosophy of a century ago was declining 
Scott absorbed it, and found it intensely congenial to his slowly 
and systematically working mind and to his distrust of 
unreasoned enthusiasms and mystic valuations. Not having the 
slightest inclination or aptitude for demagogy, he appealed only 
to educated men and women, and throughout his long editor- 
ship he developed the politics of his paper almost continuously 
in a direction opposite to that in which the politics of the 
educated well-to-do appeared, on the whole, to be moving. 

In a Lancashire gradually moving from the Left Centre to 
the Right Centre Scott moved almost continuously from the 
Centre towards the Left, converting a Whig journal into an organ 
of advanced Liberalism, while a large proportion of its readers, 
sons and grandsons of the followers of Cobden and Bright, were 
pretty obviously destined to pass through the antechamber of 
Liberal Unionism into the Conservative household. During the 
whole of the pre-war generation in which nationalistic feeling 
was rapidly gathering strength throughout the world, and the 
idea of war was recovering its ancient fascination for people who 
had not known its realities, Scott’s mind adhered completely to 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


78 

the internationalism of Cobden and the pacifism of Bright, the 
most widely and deeply unpopular ideals of the new period. 

To be in a small minority, to hold some hopeless outpost 
against whole armies, to oppose to the practicable doctrines of 
successful parties some political philosophy too rigid and 
exacting for practice in this world — this is a passion common 
enough among fanatics of political asceticism and also of} 
romanticism. Scott had no trace of this passion. He was 
i constitutionally averse from all romantic flourishes and attitudes. 
And he was very sanguine. He never could believe that England, 
at heart, was really very far from consenting to do what he 
himself so absolutely believed to be her duty. In days when 
the office of his newspaper was guarded, against his desire, by 
a cordon of police to protect it and him from its readers, he was 
as little perturbed as he was elated when, six years later, no 
opponent of the views that he held could gain a Parliamentary 
seat within many miles round Manchester. Serene and stoical,^ 
possessed with an unquestioning belief that mankind, on the 
whole, was sane and good, and that any honest attempt to tell 
it the truth was worth while and would have some effect in the 
end, he was as little affected in any way by the extremes of 
popularity and unpopularity as any man could well be. 

Ill 

In following such a course and upholding political beliefs so 
far from the fashions of the day perhaps the greatest possible 
aid is the power of brilliant self-expression, the gift which 
enables a Bernard Shaw, for example, to print deeply into the 
• minds of his readers the importance, at any rate, of ideas against 
' which nearly all their prepossessions rebel. With this gift Scott 
was not endowed. He had no facility in framing new epigrams 
or adapting old ones. Nimble forensic dexterities in argument 
did not seem even to occur to his mind, or, if they did, they were 
rejected by some instinctive impulse towards plain dealing with 
his readers. It was Scott’s achievement to make an unburnished 
^ and uncajoling style a powerful instrument of persuasion. The 



JOURNALIST AND EDITOR 79 

same words mean widely different things when uttered by 
different men. From him, this writing in which so few of the 
lures of fine form were employed came with a force and 
sincerity which made readers feel that, right or wrong, it was 
not negligible. The views expressed might be distasteful, but at 
any rate they were the real views of a real man and not a 
perfunctory arrangement of phrases thrown off because a paper 
must say something every day. 

A political leading article may be any one of several things. It 
may be an entertainment. Done with wit and gay mischief, as 
it has often been done, it may be a delightful entertainment, 
whatever be one’s views. Or it may be — quite unconsciously — 
t an escape for vexation, in the writer and in his readers, a kind 
of relief for the common, rancorous partisan’s irritation at being 
opposed when he feels so positive that he is right and that all 
who oppose him must simply be vicious. Or, yet again, it may 
be the eager and entreating protestation of one who believes, as 
a matter of course, that men and women of all parties are, in 
intention, as faithful to reason and conscience as he, and that 
nothing but direct and candid pleading is likely to interest or 
convince them. It was in this belief that Scott always addressed 
himself to a piece of political writing. In this work a plain and 
friendly gravity was his chief art, and so immense is the power 
of unmistakably honest seriousness upon English readers that 
his writing carried a weight and had traceable effects which 
might astonish connoisseurs of piquant literary flavours. S 

IV 

It was only, however, in the latter part of his editorship that 
Scott became a regular or even frequent writer of leading 
articles. Until the outbreak of the war in 1914 his influence over 
the paper was exercised mainly by his choice of regular and 
temporary members of its staff and by general supervision of 
its editorial and business policy. For the years from 1879 to 
1896 the personality which was most strongly expressed in the 
leader and critical columns of the Guardian was that of 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


8b 

William Arnold, whom some qualified judges believe to have 
been the greatest of all English journalists, certainly the greatest 
•^of all that they have known. During the decade beginning in 
1895 Scott’s work in Parliament and the long and ultimately fatal 
illness of his wife combined to make him a merely occasional 
writer in his paper. During the exciting general elections of 
1906 and 1910 he wrote little, if anything. Only when the out- 
break of the war thinned the staff of the paper did Scott become 
for the first time its chief regular leader-writer as well as its 
editor, and this he remained for many years. 

Strange to say, his writing gained in these advanced years a 
measure of flexibility and vivacity which it had lacked during 
his youth. He also brought to the discussion of such questions 
of policy and national behaviour as arose during the war a quiet 
j firmness and a freedom from mere rant and gush which made 
his comments more congenial to many distinguished soldiers 
than anything else in the Press. “ The only decent stuff that’s 
being written in England ” was the comment of a British general 
in France on these sober and measured deliverances of an aged 
civilian. Hating war in itself, and only convinced by the German 
violation of Belgium that a British entry into the quarrel was 
obligatory, Scott’s war policy was one of determination without 
hysteria. It was equally characteristic that he was for examining 
carefully, during the war, every seeming possibility of gaining 
a good peace by negotiation before Europe was exhausted and 
demoralised, and that during the black weeks of defeat in the 
March and April of 1918, when many hearts were failing 
dangerously in England, Scott’s pen was one of the most 
heartening spurs to English hope and resolution. 

His bearing in that national crisis only illustrated afresh a trait 
long known to Scott’s intimate friends. Physically, morally, and 
intellectually he seemed to have an absolute incapacity for any 
^ sort of trepidation. With an angry mob howling round him he 
'■ never showed a trace of agitation; he did not even seem to have 
any apprehensions to control. No number of falls and collisions 
appeared to suggest to him that for a septuagenarian blind iny 
one eye it was risky to cycle every night through six miles of 




C. P. SCOTT AT HIS DESK 



PRESENTATION OF THE EPSTEIN BUST TO THE 
CITY OF MANCHESTER 
October 21 st, 1926 

Jacob Epstein : C. P. Scott: The Lord Mayor of Manchester : Lord Derby 

( Sir Miles Mitchell) 




JOURNALIST AND EDITOR 81 

Manchester traffic on the greasy Manchester setts. When the 
outbreak of the Boer War, and his paper’s attitude towards it, 
converted the Guardian’s settled prosperity, for the moment, into 
loss and danger of extinction and filled his own letter-box at 
every post with written threats, abuse, and filth, Scott seemed 
scarcely to notice that anything unusual was going on. His 
usual cheerfulness did not have to be forced; he was not in the 
slightest danger of falling into any attitudes of martyrdom or 
posing as the one just man against the world. Nor yet was there 
the slightest chance of his taking in any reef of his sails. After 1 
the Boer War it gradually came out, on the publication of 
memoirs and letters of various contemporary persons of 
distinction, that a large proportion of the finest and most 
patriotic minds of the country had, like Scott, regarded the war 
as dishonouring to England, both in the means by which, from 
the Jameson Raid onward, it was procured and in some of the < 
methods by which it was prosecuted. Most of these critics found 
it possible to absolve themselves from the duty of raising their 
protest publicly at the time. To Scott it never occurred as a 
permissible course to keep this kind of comfortable and profit- 
able silence in an evil time, and in this he was immensely aided 
by that constitutional inability to see dangers and menaces to 
himself at their full size, much less at such sizes as they assume 
in the eyes of the timid. 

This innate fearlessness and a faculty for complete absorption 
in certain ideas or causes greatly lightened for him the burden 
of making critical decisions. He weighed conflicting considera- 
tions slowly — any kind of rapidity in thought or speech seemed 
impossible to him — but, when once he had formed a judgment, 
gave no backward glances of doubt, and threw off easily any 
anxiety about secondary consequences of his choice. The three 
chief public crises of his time, that of the Home Rule split in 
1885, that of the Boer War, and that of the Great War in 1914, 
probably weighed upon him as little as upon any man so 
profoundly interested in them all; they absorbed but did not 
lexhaust or corrode him. The same equanimity carried him 
unperturbed through such crises as arose in the lesser world of 

F 



82 


SCOTT AS EDITOR 


journalism in his day. In the last years of the nineteenth century 
that world was more or less convulsed by the discovery of a few < 
astute business men who had embarked in journalism. They | 
noted that the first stage in the organisation of universal 
education in England had created a very large new reading 
public, half-educated, credulous, excitable, and ready to lend 
itself to neurotic joint movements, under the influence of 
journalistic suggestion, like those dangerous bodily swayings 
which can so easily be started in standing crowds. A nervous 
impression ran through the controllers of the English Press that 
the old world of daily journalism, with its relatively sober 
appeals to the individual reader’s reason and conscience, was 
dying a natural death; that the great newspapers could retain 
their influence only by ignoble concessions, by lowering their 
appeals as well as their prices, by bowing to an imperious public 
demand for aids and stimulants to gambling and by abandoning 
serious standards of criticism in literature, drama, and the other 
arts. The present writer was in frequent consultation with Scott 
during this period, and cannot remember to have felt that in 
Scott’s opinion any big question of policy was really open. To 
exploit popular ignorance, to play up to the vices or weaknesses 
of half-formed characters and half-filled minds would have 
seemed to him a policy no more worth considering than a policy 
of living on the profits of disorderly houses. With eyes perfecdy 
open to the formidableness of the new forces at work in 
journalism, he determined to maintain his previous course and 
endeavour only the more resolutely to give die public, not what 
it was currently rumoured to desire, but what he believed to be 
true. 

That Scott’s long editorship should, after many vicissitudes, 
have raised his paper to the enjoyment of the highest prestige 
and prosperity attained in its whole history tells us something 
alike about this most English of Englishmen (in spite of his 
Border name) and about the English men and women to whom 
he addressed himself. Without any glamour of beauty or wit*/ 
in writing or speech, without any skill in the study of his readers’ 
prejudices, with unfashionable politics and a cold side for the 



JOURNALIST AND EDITOR 83 

strongest emotions of crowds, he pursued his own slowly chosen 
and frankly declared line in total indifference to what people 
might say about it or him. And yet the further he went the more 
influence did he gain over those to whom he made so few 
concessions: so strong is the instinctive feeling of many plain 
and sane minds — in England at any rate — that the friend who, 
in all friendliness and for no worldly motive, will withstand you 
to your face must be worth listening to anyhow. 



1824 

ADVERTISEMENT OF BALLOON ASCENTS 


LIBERAL AND HUMANIST 

By L. T. Hobhouse 

As Dclane was in his day The Times , so C. P. Scott was the 
J~\. Manchester Guardian , and from about 1895 onwards it is 
hardly too much to say that the Manchester Guardian was 
Liberalism. More and more during that period it was to the 
paper rather than to any personal leader that the thoughtful 
Liberal looked for stability of purpose. Yet in the staunchness 
of his Liberalism Scott was in the best sense conservative. In 
the country generally, and not least in Lancashire, opinion was 
falling away to the “Right” and to the “Left”. From 1886 
the “ classes ” went over, at first by driblets and then in a flood/ 
to Conservatism. From 1891 the artisans began to melt awayv 
into Socialism or Labour, and after 1896 the driblets swelled, 
though they hardly became a flood till the war was over. All 
the while Scott held firmly to the Liberal tradition. As editor 
and proprietor, his tenacity made his position difficult, for more 
and more he had his public against him, and, sanguine as he was 
to the last of the ultimate effect of an appeal to reason, he could 
not disguise from himself the losses and even the dangers to its 
very existence to which he exposed his paper. Of the qualities 
which carried him through I will try to give some impression 
later, but I would say here another word about Liberalism and 
what it meant for him. First of all, tenacious as he was of 
inbred conviction, he was not rigid, because it was not a rigid 
creed that he maintained, but Liberalism, the open mind, the 
value— almost the sanctity— of the “ other fellow’s ” point of 
view. All that there is, or is to come, in the opening out of the 
human mind is Liberalism, and it was in this sense that Scott 
understood it. This is the reason why his own interpretation of 
the Liberal creed was always growing. When he became editor 
of the Manchester Guardian , in 1872, it was a Whig organ, and 

84 



LIBERAL AND HUMANIST 85 

for several years it remained very moderate in its politics, partly, 
perhaps, because the young editor had incomplete control over 
his older and experienced subordinates, but principally, I 
believe, because Scott was growing and educating himself all 
the time. His choice of W. T. Arnold as a leader-writer in 1879 
marked a new departure. The Manchester Guardian was to 
stand for something more alive than Whiggery. But the decisive - 
moment did not arrive until 1886, when, with Arnold’s brilliant 
aid, he threw the whole weight of the paper on to the side of 
Home Rule, and thereby moved decisively on to the “ Left ”, 
just as its public was going over in masses to the “ Right 
Home Rule was the logical development of the older 
Liberalism. It was in line with Cobdenite ideas, and Bright 
should never have opposed it. But a harder test was to come. 
Soon after 1886, markedly from the dock strike of 1889, the 
Labour question came to the front of domestic politics, and 
Liberals were once again divided. There was an individualist 
wing more definitely in line with the tradition of the party from 
Whig days, through the period of Benthamite ascendancy and 
the triumphant times of Cobden. If Scott’s mind had been 
really conservative and his traditionalism rigid he would have \ 
followed that wing. It must have cost him much to move once 
again to the “ Left ” and insist on the new claims of Labour. 
Yet it was the movement which J. S. Mill had made twenty years 
earlier, and it was right and consistent, by the spirit of 
Liberalism, though wrong by the letter of tradition. Once 
again Scott encountered the wrath of his public, reading day 
by day with speechless indignation, almost with incredulity, 
apologies for strikers or advocacy of an eight-hour day. In this 
development Scott had the support not only of W. T. Arnold 
but of C. E. Montague, whose brilliant defence of the miners in 
1893 first attracted the present writer to the paper. When in 1897 
Scott invited this writer to join his staff the reason he gave 
was his belief that the relations of Liberalism and Labour must 
govern the future of politics, and that die problem was to find 
the lines on which Liberals could be brought to sec that the 
old tradition must be expanded to yield a fuller measure of 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


86 

social justice, a more real equality, an industrial as well as a 
political liberty. In particular they had to understand that this 
development must involve a good deal of what was still being 
i decried as Socialism. Of Socialism as a name Scott was never 
frightened. He was not easily disturbed by bogies. The essential,* 
as he saw it, was that however Socialistic changes might be they 
should be such as grew out of true Liberal principles — freedom 
from oppression, equality of opportunity, scope for initiative, 
and humanity of feeling, as contrasted with either a Fabian or 
*Marxian dictatorship. As a programme of party organisation 
the harmonisation of Liberalism and Labour was eventually 
broken down by the tactical mistake of 1918, but as a statement 
of ideals it has justified itself in all the main reforms of thirty 
years. Scott never wavered in its advocacy nor tired of 
* ingeminating co-operation, and urging the real identity of aim 
as between advanced Liberalism and moderate Labour. 

In the meantime Liberalism was challenged from quite 
another quarter by the rise of Imperialism and the allied doctrine 
of Protection. Here Scott took an early and a firm stand on 
admitted principles of Liberalism. What distinguished him was 
the firmness of his advocacy, which more than once brought 
him into direct and embittered conflict not merely with his 
Conservative readers but with the simple-minded, uncritical 
patriotism of the general public. The odium of pleading for 
justice and a fair hearing for miners was as nothing to the odium - 
of urging the same plea on behalf of Boers or Germans or 
Indians, or, for that matter, Irish Nationalists. Indeed, the odium 
of pleading was not greater than the odium of publishing the 
bare facts, if these happened to tell on the side of the enemy 
Scott faced the successive storms with unfailing serenity and with 
an undying belief in the ultimate reasonableness and justice of 
the British people. To any elements of personal danger he was 
by a happy constitution indifferent, and he took little more note 
of police protection than of the violent and sometimes filthy 
letters from unnamed patriots which I have seen him open at 
the breakfast table or have heard him mention as a jest. But 
though always sanguine of ultimate success, he was fully aware 



LIBERAL AND HUMANIST 


that he was often risking his all, and he early marked out a line 
which he laid down for the whole paper. No fact was to be 
suppressed, whether it told on one side or the other, whether it 
/would cause a howl of execration or a shout of applause, whether 
it confirmed the view of the paper or told against it. But every- 
thing was to be stated and everything argued with moderation 
and sweet reasonableness. No conclusion, however radical, was 
barred, but offensiveness and over-statement in supporting it 
were excluded. “ Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in y 
malice.” In particular he would have no “ drumming out ” of 
the Liberal party. Here I more than once differed from him, 
and looking back long after the event I cannot even now admit 
.that I was altogether wrong. I still think it would have been 
/ better on occasion if the Liberal party had definitely dissociated 
itself from certain eminent men and their policies, but the 
mistake, if mistake it was, was an error of generosity. He held 
that a man who professed and called himself Liberal must be 
taken at his word and led gently into the way of truth, while, 
if breach there was to be, it must come from such a man himself 
and not from his fellow-Liberals. 


But when the victory seemed to be won and the Liberals came 
in with an overwhelming majority for a long spell of power ' 
Scott found himself forced into opposition on two great 
questions. The most acute for several years was women’s 
suffrage, where he was not only resolute in principle, but, 
through the keenness of his imagination, more understanding 
than were most of us of the true nature of militancy. The other 
was the growing menace of war with Germany. He witnessed 
with dismay the increasing competition in armaments, and with 
even greater dismay the conversion of the Entente into an 
alliance and its extension to include reactionary Russia. The v 
crisis of July 1914 came at a moment when he had barely 
emerged from the threat of a dangerous operation and the 
menace, fortunately proved vain, of a deadly disease. He threw 
himself into the task of rallying Liberal opinion, travelling 
hurriedly from one of the scattered and rather supine leaders to | 
another, and eventually failing, as the world knows. War once 



88 


SCOTT AS EDITOR 


declared, he recognised that the position was radically changed. 
We might have been wrong, as he certainly thought — and I do 
not know when or precisely how far he really changed this view 
— in entering upon it, but it was not as the Boer War, when we 
were doing wrong to another and weaker nation. We were up 
^gainst far the greatest Power in the world. The wrong, if any, 
was done by our Government to our own people, and there was 
no going back. In the Boer War it had been a piece of silly 
rhetoric to suggest that our national existence was at stake and 
was endangered by criticism. In the War of 1914-18 it was literal 
truth. As between nations Scott, like most of us, believed the 


wrong to lie with the Germans, not with ourselves, and as keenly 
as any man, more so than the vast majority, he believed that the 
future of mankind and every principle that he held most dear 
were bound up with the safe maintenance of the British State 
in the hour of trial. He let pre-war politics alone to bury its own ( 
dead, and concentrated with all his energy on the successful 
pursuit of the struggle. He was in repeated communication with 
Ministers, acquired an intimate knowledge of the ever-changing 
position, and was always ingeminating the need of greater effort) 
and radical remedies for stupidity and obstructiveness in high 
places. It was this side of his energies which brought him into 
a sympathetic contact with Lloyd George which was to 
. become a source of chagrin to many of his political friends. The 
root of it was that in Lloyd George Scott found a man 
who opened his eyes to danger without being dismayed, who f 
had the power of sweeping away obstructions and was no 
respecter of idolised but expensive generals. Scott may have 
been right or wrong, but it is a matter of fact that such was 
the impression made on him by Lloyd George, and that 
this was the source of an appreciation which oudasted the war/ 
and was only in part worn away by subsequent failures. Scott, 
who knew all the dangers, was deeply impressed by the adverse 
happenings of the war — particularly in the weeks before Jutland 
he was wrung by anxiety over the naval situation, and not 
j without reason, as the battle was to prove. So again in the first 
month of the intensified submarine campaign, when it was only 



LIBERAL AND HUMANIST 89 

too clear that the handling of the danger was inadequate, and 
defeat was, in fact, for the first and last time upon the cards. > 
Of ultimate success Scott was uniformly confident, and such 
disasters as that of St. Quentin he took, in spite of the most 
acute personal anxiety, with all the trust of some old Covenanter 
in the arm of the Lord. He stood out against dismay as firmly 
and finely as he had stood against the mob, and proved himself 
as good a patriotic leader as a statesman of humanity. 

Strenuous in the prosecution of the war, he was all for the 
earliest opportunity of a just peace, and in the autumn of 1917, 
and before the Lansdowne letter appeared, was marking out 
lines of approach — not unobserved by the German Liberal 
papers. But Ludendorff decided otherwise, and peace was only 
to come by victory. The Guardian criticised the detail of the 
Versailles negotiations with its accustomed freedom, but it was 
not till the whole settlement was well before us that anyone 
could recognise the stupendous blunder to which we had been 
committed. From the moment when he grasped this Scott set 
himself to lessen the mischief, if that were possible. Lloyd 
George, a speedy yet belated penitent, was in foil spate on the j 
same side, and Scott forgave him his sins for the sake of his 
persistent efforts at reparation. In the Irish crisis he was again 
active in personal mediation between the Sinn Fein leaders and 
the Government, and played a man’s part in bringing about 
the final negotiations which led to peace. 

Into later and contemporary history I will not follow him, 
but will seek to draw together the features of character which 
ran through his career of noble service. Scott represented, 
better than any man I have known, the union of certain qualities 
which seldom dwell together. He had the resolution, courage, 
initiative, and imagination of a leader of men, and he had foe 
humanity, considerateness, and insight of a woman. At the 
very root of his nature he was more a Puritan than anything 
else, but he was spiritually of that group of seventeenth-century 
Puritans who loved poetry and art and all foe things of foe mind, 
and would fain have preserved foe Renaissance while carrying 
^ through foe Reformation. He was what foe Stoics call 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


90 

“ invincible ”, unshaken in defeat, turning from it to plan the 
next victory. In the war he would not look at final disaster — 
“ We can’t be beat ” was all he would say — but if defeat had 
come he would have turned from it to plan what was to be done 
next. He was, then, a man of faith, but, to be candid, his faith 
was in humanity as interpreted by the best of the Comtist 
f writers as the summed conception of all that there is of justice 
and honour, of reason and loving-kindness in the society of 
mankind. Courage, I think, came more easily to him than to 
most, notwithstanding a sensitiveness and a power of imagina- 
• tion which make many brave men hesitant in dangers. It was 
one expression of a perfectly balanced constitution — the healthy 
mind in healthy body. Again, there are idealists who are not 
practical, and practical men who are very far from idealists. 
Scott was an idealist who cared nothing about the abstract, but 
sought day by day to find practical expression for high aims — 
seldom speaking of them as such, but showing how the denial 
of them worked out. Some great humanitarians occupied with 
all mankind are little concerned with individuals. Scott could 
always see the personal point of view. “ I find an odd kind of 
considerateness in Scott’s business arrangements,” said a 
journalist who came into casual relations with the Manchester 
Guardian, as though this would be a novelty to one who had 
worked with Scott for years. Lastly, and perhaps above all, Scott 
lived outside himself in his work. In his eighties he still sat 
down immediately after a breakfast of raw fruit to the masses 
of his correspondence; was at it all day, but for an hour on 
his bicycle in the afternoon; spent the evening in editorial work 
at the office; and would be home by car — night-bicycling on 
greasy Manchester streets was suppressed by an intensive 
campaign of his relations at seventy-eight— and at eleven o’clock 
sit down to a late supper, also mostly of raw fruit. I never knew 
a happier man. 



“C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 

By W. P. Crozier 

F or many years “C.P.S.” arrived at the Guardian office at 
6 p.m., latterly by car, before that on the famous bicycle. 
Mounting the stairs to his room with a purposive air, he thrust., 
the door to with a vigorous left-hand push without looking 
behind him. The bang announced the presence to his staff. A 
few moments later, having unpacked and handed over to a 
Messenger two eggs, salt wrapped up in a screw of paper, milk 
and, sometimes, an apple, all of which he had brought from 
home, 1 he spread out the evening papers on his desk and was 
ready for all comers. No interruption, no visitor, no office confer- 
ence was allowed to delay the sacred task of fixing for the night 
the subject of “ the Long ”. This was the Long Leader, prime 
instrument of policy, the voice, persuasive or protestant, for 
whose utterance, more than for any other single purpose, he 
believed the paper to exist. Suddenly, murmuring “ I must see 
about the Leader,” he would hurry from the room, and the 
resumption of the conference depended on the conversation 
demanded by the Long. Whether in the leader-writer’s room 
or in “ C.P.’s,” the discussion was not hustled. Chief reporters, 
chief sub-editors, editorial writers who desired to see him, 
might kick their heels : no matter ; other joinery must wait while •* 
the Ark of the Covenant was planned. It waited still more if 
“ C.P.” himself wrote the Leader. The writers of the Long 
were, by sanctity of office, protected from disturbance, but prac- 
tice invaded tradition according to the standing of the writer. 

“ C.P.” was not disturbed without strong reason. He began 
early, made notes, perhaps sent for one of his big volumes of 

1 In earlier days he sent out for three brown scones and a pot of cream. He - 
kept a butter-jar on a little ledge which he had had constructed outside the 
window of his room. 


9 1 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


92 

cuttings, or scurried off, sometimes almost running, to get one 
of his men to remove or confirm a doubt; back in his room, he 
settled to work intently. Usually he wrote in ink, and then, like 
others, when he corrected he wrote over the line; when he used 
pencil, he would open the right-hand top drawer of his desk, 
extract a big piece of india-rubber, efface the offending passage, 
replace the india-rubber, shut the drawer, all with great brisk- 
ness, and then carefully substitute the amended words. 

The Leader finished, he turned to letters and memoranda. 
On some of these he had written initials, whose owners he now 
summoned or visited in order to make a suggestion, offer a 
criticism or ask for explanation. Then he dictated letters or wrote 
them in his own hand, as to the last he often did; in consenting 
to have letters typed he had yielded only to necessity, through 
the compulsion of an injured right hand and after the failure 
of an obstinate attempt to teach himself to use his left. By this 
time the proofs of the Leader had come down, and again he 
was absorbed. He went warily over what he had written, 
tightening an argument, expressing with finer exactitude the 
desired shade of meaning, rewriting whole passages. Occa- 
sionally he asked someone to read over his Leader. “ See if I’ve 
got the facts right,” he would say, or “ See if you think I’ve been 
too violent.” If it were a matter of tone, of undue severity, of 
possible obscurity, he was quick to be convinced. Saying “That’s 
what I was rather doubtful about,” he would take the pen of 
correction. Proofs sent up, he worked again at correspondence 
or paid more visits or, gathering up his letters, which he girded 
into a stout bundle with an india-rubber band, he stuffed them 
into a coat pocket and rapidly disappeared. He had no fixed 
time for leaving. His cheerfiil “Good night, Charlie !” 1 or 
“ Good night, Ted! ”* as he looked into the room next to his 
own was the signal to those within range that he was going. 
Sometimes, to a subordinate who had failed to catch him unoccu- 
pied, it was a signal for pursuit. He did not allow such interviews 
to be prolonged, but he was seldom impatient. When he had 
gone to bed, so that he could no longer be reached on the tele- 

1 C. E. Montague. 


2 E. T. Scott. 



“C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 


93 

phone, it might be found that an inaccuracy had crept into his 
leader or had been created in it by the arrival of later news. 
In that case, whoever was “ in charge ” corrected the error and 
sent him an explanation. Unless plain error was discovered it 
was well to resist suggestions that “ C.P.’s ” words should be 
improved. It is known that Homer nodded, but not what 
Homer said when he was told about it. For reasonable correc- 
tions “ C.P.” sent down a note of thanks. “ I’m glad you did,” 
he would say, “ very stupid of me ! ” He had phrases for situa- 
tions, and “ stupid ” was his word for himself when he desired 
to make confession. 

When “ C.P.” revised Leaders he allowed great freedom of 
treatment to his writers, but much more on subjects in which 
he was not personally expert than on others, like domestic 
politics, about which he felt strongly. He desired diversity of 
individual thought but, since it had to be consistent with the 
moral and political unity which the paper through him repre- 
sented, he modified, rewrote, and sometimes “ spiked ” the work 
of others to the satisfaction of his conscience. The process of 
amendment or of destruction was left by the tradition of the 
office, to convey its bleak lesson to the original writer. So, also, 
he encouraged the individuality of foreign correspondents. 
They had the large liberties of independent thinking within the 
bounds of the spirit of the paper’s policies. Except within the 
same frontiers outside contributors, even the famous, were not 
welcome. “ C.P.” was chary of asking Bernard Shaw or Dean 
Inge for contributions because “ when we got them we might 
not like them.” 

If “ C.P.” was “ taking Shorts ” (revising Short Leaders) he 
drew his subjects from the events of the night, from the cuttings 
which some member of the staff had left in the morning at his 
house, and from other cuttings which were put on his desk in 
the early evening. These cuttings presented a field of adventure 
uncharted, unchartable, and, for the staff, alarming. “ C.P.” 
had the good journalist’s capacity for being interested in many 
subjects and of coming to each of them, whether it was new or 
only new to him, with fresh excitement. His mental excitations, 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


94 

which he assumed his staff to share, were thought by some to 
be extreme. The novice who was asked to discuss the influence 
of breast-feeding on the dentition of the young, soon learned to 
fend off the terrible unknown by spontaneous suggestion; infan- 
tile dentition, though he might hastily concede to “ C.P.” its 
social and scientific importance, might be repelled by the offer of 
a Short on the poor spirit of Londoners who did not even own 
their gas and water, or the Marbles Championship of the Middle 
West, or perhaps (a certain winner) Miss Violet Douglas- 
Pennant. But “ C.P.” was difficult to evade. To a reluctant 
writer professing inadequate knowledge he said, “Well, but, 
my dear fellow, ask questions about it; say we want to know,” 
°r> “ Well, at any rate you seem to know more about it than 
anyone else, so — if you could manage a short one? ” and then 
he was gone. He was gentle, with a formidable gendeness. So 
many things stirred him that by the end of the evening he often 
had far more Shorts than could be used. The superfluous 
/perished, like infants exposed, without recognition outside the 
family. 

In the whole field of writing and of editorship the liberty of 
treatment which “ C.P.” allowed was conditioned by moral 
principles which he applied with great fidelity. A Long Leader 
by any other of the prophets would have begun with “ The word 
of the Lord that came to . . .” “ C.P.”, without revelation, had 
the same direct conviction of what was right and wrong. By this 
he guided himself among the maze of questions which, since^ 
no man can be master of all subjects, he did not profess to under- 
stand in detail. By this more than all he impressed his person- 
ality, as sincere in purpose as it was independent in thought, on 
the instrument by which he moved opinion. He rated moral 
earnestness most highly in his staff. Of an invaluable colleague 
it was rumoured that there had at one time been grave doubts 
how he would turn out: had not “ C.P.” said that he was “ a 
little lacking in moral earnestness ”? He was amused but not 
displeased when he heard that two of his men had been described 
as — the “ twin Galsworthics of the Guardian office.” 1 In his 

1 Before Mr, Galsworthy got the “ O.M/* 



“C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 


95 

rightness about principle he would not compromise. His view 
of that new phenomenon, the giant sweepstake, he expressed 
with simplicity. He thought it dangerously demoralising, and 
“ the most unfortunate people,” he said, “ are those who win 
the prizes.” When a discussion raged about a fundamental ques- 
tion, when he thought that anyone was proposing to palter with 
principle, then the eyes flashed and the beard shook and the 
Commandments came down again in thunder and lightning. 
He was a poor speaker, but in writing he had a voice whose sound 
was like the sea. 

In the actual business of composition “ C.P.” stood for argu- 
mentative, reasonable moderation. If he looked into a room 
and said, “ I like your leader — very persuasive,” he gave his 
highest praise. He disliked intemperance of speech. His occa- 
sional vehemence in conversation misled the unwary, who, hav- 
ing engaged with him in mutual severities against an offence or 
an offender, sat down and wrote with equal passion, only to find 
that “ C.P.”, revising, had eliminated from the argument all 
trace of violence. “ A fine article,” he said once, referring to a 
man of strong views — “a fine article: X holding himself in.” 
He liked people to feel deeply, think clearly, and hold themselves 
in. It was only towards the end, when his grip was at last relax- 
ing, that he passed intemperate utterance. He approved of a man 
who grappled with the strongest points of an opponent’s case; 
“ there has been no one like him,” he said of a fine journalist 
who was leaving the paper, “ for getting to the heart of a sub- 
ject.” He liked plain, muscular work. “ Clear and vigorous ” 
was one of his phrases of approval. Provided that a writer, 
having something to say, said it well, he thought the niceties of 
style unimportant. The flamboyant and the rhetorical offended 
him; when an enthusiastic reader sent him a scream of delight 
about an article in the paper, he cut it out and sent it to one of 
his staff with the comment, “ I don’t agree; much too rich.” He 
made war on woolliness. He once gave a man the proofs of an 
overgrown leader. “ Would you take a quarter of a column out 
of this thing by X,” he said, “ I have to go early and it’s turned 
out much too long.” “ Any particular part that I should go for. 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


96 

Mr Scott? ” “ Oh,” he said, “ it doesn’t matter; you can get it 
out almost anywhere.” As a sub-editor he got rid of the 
vfedundant and the turgid with the conscientiousness of a 
machine that presses the superfluous moisture out of yarn. The 
man who passed “ seaward journey to the great metropolis,” and 
when the “ copy ” came back to him, found written in firm blue 
pencil “ voyage to London ” knew what sort of English “ C.P.” 
liked. Once, when an article in type was shown to him because 
a certain sentence expressed a doubtful judgment, he noticed 
that the English was slovenly, amended it, and then, being drawn 
on from sentence to sentence and becoming more and more 
dissatisfied, he made innumerable minute corrections until at 
last, having made a complete mess of the proof, he looked up 
and said gently, “Dear X; of course, he’s not a trained sub- 
editor.” 

Thinking as he did of his function and that of his paper, he 
spared others as little as himself. An autocrat, he would have 
said that it was “ the good of the paper,” not he, that made 
supreme demands. When he was told, as occasionally happened, 
that someone had left the Guardian for one of the great dailies, 
he was amused. “ Really? ” he said, throwing his head back 
as at a joke; after all, not everyone could be expected to under- 
/ stand the privilege of door-keeping in the Temple. He hardly 
realised that individuals, although devoted to the paper, might 
not always be able to submerge their personal view. When it was 
suggested to him that a senior of ability might not like being 
turned into an assistant to a junior on a new piece of work, he 
said with severity, “ I don’t think he will object if it is for the 
good of the paper.” When one of his best men, on leaving, 
mentioned to him that he had resented the elevation of a junior 
over his head to a distinguished position where no suggestion of 
superior merit could be made, “ C.P.” said simply, with great 
sincerity, “ It tiever occurred to me.” His demands on those 
whom he trusted were ruthless. “ By the way,” he once said, 
“ will you take part of'X’s work next week, He wants to have 
a week’s holiday. He says he’s tired. Why arc these young 
men tired? You and I are never tired.” He once, from his 



“C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 


97 

house, rang up the same man, whose hours were then from 
about 5.0 p.m. to 3.0 a.m., and said, “ Old Blank is staying with 
me and we want to get out a pamphlet on the Persian question. 
I thought you’d like to help. We mustn’t lose any time, so would 
you be here by ten o’clock ? We could make an early start, have 
lunch and get on in the afternoon before we go down to the 
office.” This lasted for some days. At the finish he remarked, 
“ I should think you’ve always liked hard work.” Having with 
difficulty collected about him men whom he trusted, he desired 
them to be available, by which he meant at their desks; the 
system of sending members of the indoors staff occasionally 
out of doors, whether at home or abroad, in order to increase 
their experience might, he admitted, have its value, but it was, 
he thought, “ very inconvenient.” He did not practise it. He 
thought that his staff should be kept well occupied. “ What 
exacdy,” he said once, “does X do? ” naming an important 
person. “ Yes,” he said, on hearing the answer, “ but that can’t 
take him long.” It was, perhaps, not unconnected with the 
inquiry that X was shordy afterwards reported to be missing his 
last tram home. 

He would let no one increase holidays, which ran from Satur- 
day to Saturday, by adding to them the Friday before or the 
Sunday after, even if the holiday-maker was entided to it as a 
legitimate “ day-off ” according to the rules. When he dis- 
covered that one experimenter, full of ignorance or of art, was 
proposing to split his holidays into four separate weeks and add 
a lawful Sunday “ off ” to each of them, his indignation was 
profound. In practice he often conceded what in principle he 
refused, adding, “ Don’t tell anyone; it mustn’t be a precedent.” 

Since he regarded the paper more as an influence than as a 
news-sheet, “ C.P.” was not interested in circulation as a count- 
ing of heads nor in advertisements as a means of profit. He 
desired more readers in order that his ideas might be, if not 
accepted, intelligently discussed; he sought the circulation that 
brought the advertisements that provided the revenue that 
improved the paper as an engine for the moving of opinion. He 
neither courted die advertiser nor without reason offended him. 


G 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


98 

If there were reason, it was a pity. He watched the advertise- 
ments lest anything unseemly or unsightly should creep in, and 
he used to say that the less die editorial and the advertisement 
departments had to do with each other the better for the paper. 
When a rash young man remarked to him that it must be diffi- 
cult to conduct a certain feature without yielding to pressure from 
advertisers, “ C.P.” said to a senior, “ I felt like kicking him 
downstairs.” 

He desired circulation but not at the cost of the character of 
the paper. When circulation figures were good he liked to give 
the credit to the quality of the leader-columns; when they were 
not so good, he turned a questioning eye on the news depart- 
ments. About new ideas he was willing but slow to be con- 
vinced. Realising the tough conservatism of the loyal subscriber, - 
he frowned on “jumpiness but he was willing to consider 
any change that might confirm old readers or bring new ones. 
He would consider with detachment the adoption of a serial 
story or regular verse or caricatures, but at the close there was 
the same formula — “ of course they would have to be very good.” 
Many warm debates ended, like a Cabinet meeting, in inde- 
cision; who could say how much of the masses might be won 
over by the “ very good ” at 2 d. ? Such discussions had surprises 
for “ C.P.”, who knew nothing about the suburbs of literature. % 
Someone suggested facetiously that a serial story might be pro- 
cured from Allen Raine or Ruby M. Ayres. “ C.P.” repeated 
the names slowly, thought, and said firmly, “ I never heard of 
either of them.” When verse was discussed, Wilhelmina Stitch 
was mentioned. “ What a funny name! ” said “ C.P.” “ I never 
heard of her — who is she ? ” It was explained that she was a 
great “ puller ” of circulation. “ Well,” said “ C.P.” briskly, 
“ that sounds promising, doesn’t it? ” On further illumination 
about popular verse he passed to another subject. After the con- 
ference was over he went to one of those who had taken part 
and said, “ I want to know — do you really think that more 
verse might bring more circulation? Of course we could only 
have the best.” 

As the years went on, he introduced into the paper new features 



“C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 99 

to meet new tastes. To some of them he would have assented 
long before had it not been for the Old Guard. To the repeated • 
suggestions that the time had come when the paper ought to 
“ notice ” films, “ C.P.” having consulted the Old Guard, replied 
that it could not be done because, “if we did, they are so bad we 
should have to attack them,” which, indeed, eventually “ we ” 
did, thereby moving angry managers to withdraw their 
advertisements. When it was proposed that particulars should 
be given of important books which were about to be published, 
he was advised that either such notes would express an opinion 
about the books, in which case they would amount to an 
additional review, or they would not, and then they would be 
merely publishers’ “ puffs ”. It was not “ C.P.” who, when new 
features attractive to women were advocated, sternly hoped that 
there was “ going to be something in them to interest an 
intelligent woman,” nor was it he who, when the greater use 
of photographs was discussed, exclaimed, “ Good God ! Must we 
come to photographs of weddings? ” He was ready to modernise 
the paper, consistently with its character, in order to increase its 
usefulness. He did not despair of leading Philistines up to the 
City of Zion. He never feared that they might weaken the fibre 
of the paper; he was too confident that he could weaken theirs. 
He would go firmly as far as he was persuaded was necessary on 
a long view, but no further. It was urged on him that the building 
should bear the name of the paper in an illuminated sky-sign. 
At last he agreed. “ Very well,” he said, “ have it — but don’t let 
it wink, John.” 1 

Since the paper was critical, independent, and in frequent 
opposition to popular opinion, he felt that everything should be 
done to make it clear to the average man and woman. It was to 
appeal to the intelligent rather than to the erudite. He tried 
to keep out of it the pedantic and obscure, pretence and 
ostentation. He liked plain English, holding that everything in 
a foreign language, living or dead, that crept into the paper 
could have been said as well or better in English. (“ Why do 
they say ‘ portfolio ’ when they mean an English ‘ Ministry ’ ? ”) 

1 J. R. Scott. 



100 


SCOTT AS EDITOR 


He constantly asked the question, “ What does it mean? ” or 
“ What does he mean? ” If a man who had allowed something 
unintelligible to appear in the paper said “ I thought it meant 
so-and-so,” “ C.P.” would forgive the greatest stupidity, but to 
insert anything without having a clear opinion, however wrong, 
about its meaning, was a serious offence. “ But, my dear fellow, 
if you didn’t think you knew what it meant, you shouldn’t have 
let it in.” He would go busding into a room, waving a cutting 
or a proof, in which was an obscure phrase, a preciosity or anj 
Americanism. “ What does he mean by this? He talks about a 
* final showdown ’ ? An Americanism, I suppose. What does 
it mean? Generally known? ... I don’t know it. Taken from 
cards? I never heard of it.” He resented, except in a few cases, 
the use of initials, especially in headlines, to represent some body 
with which the journalist might be familiar and the public not. 
He carried this objection far. For a long time after the railway 
amalgamations he would not allow L.M.S. to appear in a head- 
line. He had found it at the top of a Short Leader. He came in, 
according to his custom , 1 bristling. “ These letters L.M.S.,” he 
said, “What do they mean?” The amalgamations were 
recalled to him. “ May be,” he said, “ but what do the letters 
stand for? ” “ A combination, Mr. Scott, of the London North- 
Western . . .” “ Ah,” he said, relaxing, “ That explains it. I 
always went North-Western and I can never think of it by any 
other name.” What was intended to be intelligible to the public, 
in a leader, a report, a telegram, or a poster, must be intelligible 
to him, an admirable standard of measure since he never 
pretended to be a know-all but was unsurpassed in clear thinking 
and expression. 

J The slovenliness in language which, partly because of loose 
thinking, partly because of mere misuse of words, threatens to 
infest a newspaper, roused him. “Look at this,” he said. 
“ Blank died literally in harness. He didn’t.” Or “ This man 
says that we shall have to pay literally through the nose. He 
knows we shan’t.” He protested almost passionately against a 
witness at an inquest who described himself as having been 

1 " More suo ” not permitted. 



“C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 101 

“ only too willing ” to save a woman from drowning. “ He 
doesn’t mean that, you know,” said “ C.P.” “ Then why does 
he say it? ” He watched for and cut out of the paper false usages 
and vulgarisms. He sent the cutting sometimes to the culprit, 
more often to one of his assistants for what he called the “ little 
collection ”. He would not allow misuses in reports and 
contributions to be justified by the distinction of either Cabinet 
rank or a University Chair. Drawing attention to a lapse by 
a well-known master of letters, he said, “ Even the great 
can stumble — but it should have been altered.” He demanded 
a certain precision and dignity of language; all parts of 
the paper, reports and letters to editor included, had to 
conform to it. He was fastidious about translations, especially 
from the French, a language to which he gave exact atten- 
tion. He was impatient with writers of letters who com- 
plained when English grammar was forcibly imposed on them. 
“ They ought to be grateful to us,” he said, “ as speakers should 
be to reporters.” His vigilance extended to the smallest points. 
If Mr. Lloyd George was “ Mr. George ” in the leader-columns, 
that was the precision of “ C.P.” not, as Mr. George is reported 
to have said, the malice of Labour men gathered on the Guardian 
staff. 

“ C.P.” demanded correct English in the common words and 
phrases. Someone had said “ the extremists have now neither 
the money, backing, or confidence to launch a new programme.” 
“ Should be ‘ nor ’,” wrote “ C.P.”, “ but wrong even so, as 
‘ neither ’ implies only two alternatives.” He had a nose for 
outrages on the participle. Cutting out a paragraph which said: 
“ An aeroplane made a forced landing on the Goodwin Sands 
yesterday, the pilot and two passengers being picked up by a 
passing steamer,” he noted “ * Being ’ here implies some 
relation of cause and effect and there is none.” He never ceased 
to point out the improper use of the personal pronoun, as in “ I 
can vouch for them being uncomfortable.” “ Should be 
‘ their ’,” he said curtly. “ He agreed to them being removed to 
Australia; ” “ Should be ‘ their ’,” he wrote. “ Lord Rosebery’s 
remark about it being easy to talk when one had a contempt for 



102 


SCOTT AS EDITOR 


one’s audience ” — “ Should be ‘ its ’, ” he said, and so on through 
a hundred other vulgar errors like “ very gratified,” “ some form 
or another,” “ equally . . . as,” “ cruel or otherwise.” As the 
errors had all been committed by some individual in the editorial 
departments, “ C.P.” was puzzled. He desired to bring the 
^niceties of correct usage to the general notice, but not to do any- 
thing which might pillory an individual. “ Could one suggest,” 
he asked, “ any easy method by which correction of the ‘ little 
errors ’ could be made generally available without offence ? ” A 
method was possible, and he agreed to it, as the statesmen say, 
in principle. But, like them, he did nothing. He could be stern 
in his private rebukes ; a Chief Reader, summoned to an inter- 
view on misprints and recommended by a friend not to defend 
the indefensible, went away murmuring, “ He’s a hard man if 
you give in to him.” But “ C.P.” shied from the instruction 
which, if made “ generally available ”, might here and there be 
read as a public censure. To the end he continued to send the 
little notes, pinning the cutting at the top of a scrap of paper. 
But he never wrote, much less circulated, a Book of Leviticus. 
Sometimes he held a nightly inquisition into misprints, which 
led a shocked conference to discover that the correction of a 
comma is the root of much typographical evil. Thereupon 
batde. Did commas matter ? Yes, but did they “ really ” matter ? 
Should one regulate them by grammar or by rude common 
sense, fight for each jot and titde of a punctuative creed or take 
what one was given in fear of a worse fate? It became a war of 
exhaustion, broken by the armistice of summer holidays, and 
not renewed. 

In many small ways “ C.P.” took pains to spare the personal 
feelings of others. Once, having given someone charge of an 
important feature, he decided that the experiment was unsuc- 
cessful. He sent to a senior the original “ copy ” which showed 
the changes made by the reviser, with the comment “ Miles better 
in the original.” Then, although he put someone else in charge, 
the dispossessed received from him a note which gave no sign 
of dissatisfaction. He thought that this was a promising young 
man who should not be discouraged. To individuals except to 



“C.P.S IN THE OFFICE 


103 

those with whom he came in close contact he rarely gave direct 
commendation for a good piece of work. He thought of work 
as its own reward (but journalists are human), so that although 
he noticed and in conversation spoke of good performance, he 
seldom conveyed his praise to those who sometimes wondered, 
without cause, whether their work was appreciated by him. 
Some of his commendations, for their rarity, entered the office 
traditions. On ceremonial occasions, anxious to thank the 
editorial departments for their common effort, he could not 
conceal his view of the gulf which separated the writer, the 
creator of opinion, from the purveyor of news; if all the 
writers were suddenly missing, he more than once said, “ Even 
the sub-editors would be able to knock up some sort of a 
leader.” 

He was slow to give his confidence and had a long memory for 
disappointments. Whether it was the case of a new man coming 
for trial as a writer or of anyone in the office being appointed to 
a new duty, he followed his work from day to day and plied 
him with comment and criticism. If, finally, he ever reached 
the phrase “ Oh, you can say — ” or “You can do what you 
like about it,” the recipient knew that even if “ C.P.” did not 
mean quite that, he was completely trusted. It has been said that 
he chose men well. Certainly he almost always chose them with 
great caution. When a vacancy had to be filled without delay, 
he weighed specimens of work, records, and personal impressions 
and called subordinates into council. He liked specimens; he 
thought that from even one or two you could generally get an 
idea of a man’s quality, whereas an interview, though necessary, 
was treacherous; it might leave you with a wrong impression or, 
annoyingly, with none at all. Of candidates for the writing staff 
he held that it did not matter how long a vacancy was kept open 
provided that, at the finish, it was righdy filled. If a valuable 
man was lost to the staff, his work could be divided out among 
the remainder until a suitable successor had been discovered, 
tested, and finally confirmed. It was unfortunate, no doubt, for 
the remainder, if the time was long, but that was irrelevant; it 
might be years, and on one occasion was. Of all alike he said, 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


104 

“ You see, we have to be careful, because we can’t get rid of 
them.” He was behind the times of easy-come and casy-go. He 
expected letters of recommendation to be serious, and he 
weighed them seriously. They did not always help the applicant. 
He read out one, pausing over each paragraph and sometimes 
commenting, until he came to the sentence “ and he is a brilliant 
conversationalist.” “ I think,” said “ C.P.”, “ that we have 
enough of them already.” 

He held the strictest views about the function of editor. For 
him the Editor was the personality, controlling, directing, 
harmonising, which gave unity of purpose and of character to 
the paper. He was not equally interested in all parts; he left the 
Commercial to the commercial; he rarely looked at the sports 
pages; news never excited him like an idea, but he felt so strongly 
that the organism, if it was to be a consistent whole, must reflect 
a single personality, that he objected not only to the existence of 
self-sufficing departments but also to the conferment of the title 
of “ Editor ”, either by day or by night, on anybody charged 
with a feature or a department. “Night-editor?” he said 
wonderingly, having at that time himself been night-editor as 
well as Editor for nearly fifty years. “ Ah, but of course, we 
don’t have that system here.” He wrote “ London Manager ”, 
not “ London Editor ” for the head of the London Office. He 
would say “ my assistant ”, but not “ assistant editor ”. He 
referred not to “ sports editor ” but to “ sports sub-editor ”. 
When a list of all the “ editors ” on a great New York daily was 
read out to him, he was much amused, and said, “ I wonder 
what on earth they all find to do.” His rule was that all letters 
written by members of the staff must be signed on behalf of the 
Editor with their initials only. He rejected the suggestion that 
a reference should be given at the head of letters which woiild 
bring the answer direct to the right person; the reply should be 
addressed to the Editor and find its way to its personal destination 
.through normal, even Jthough devious, office channels. There is 
[but one God, and Allah is his prophet. “ C.P.’s ” idea of an 
editor was that he had both functions. 

The news which he despised was that which resounds with- 



C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 


105 

out significance. When a paragraph appeared in the paper 
saying that the Honourable Somebody had been operated on for 
appendicitis by Sir Frederick Treves, he sent a cross note saying 
that it should not have been given because “(i) The Honourable 
Somebody is nobody; (ii) All those people have appendicitis 
nowadays; (iii) Sir Frederick Treves operates on all of them.” 
He was displeased with the sentimental gush about the Queen’s 
Dolls House. He appreciated, without himself pursuing, the 
journalistic “scoop”; some time after a large “scoop ’’had 
been fortuitously obtained, he remarked that it would be “ very 
useful ” to the news columns if we could have another. He kept 
“ copy ” late on his desk to the distraction of the sub-editors, 
and, apologising when at last he released it, did the same next 
night. On most modern papers he would have been “ sacked ” 
repeatedly, he had such ideas about news-values. There was an 
evening when it was announced that The Times had come down 
to a penny. E. T. Scott, who was then his secretary, went to see 
the news editor. “ My father wants to know how much we are 
giving about T he Times at a penny.” “ I thought about a quarter 
of a column,” was the reply. “ E.T.S.” looked gloomy. “ I 
don’t think he will regard that as enough.” In a few moments 
the news editor was summoned to “ C.P.S.”, who was sitting 
magisterially. “ Oh, X,” he said, “ how much are we giving 
about The Times coming down to a penny? ” “ A quarter of a 
column, Mr. Scott.” He shook his beard. “ It’s not nearly 
enough,” he said. “ We ought to have at least a column. If the 
news had come in earlier it would have been the subject for ‘ the 
Long When he said, as he sometimes did, “ Now what can 
we do to strengthen ourselves against The Times ? ” his news 
editor could have made a suggestion to him. But it would have 
made no difference, for he was magnanimous. 

Some editors, it is said, get news for their papers; a man may 
be a Dinner Editor, so that what goes into his tentacular ears^ 
comes out in his paper next morning. “ C.P.” kept his paper 
and his private information distinct. He scarcely ever gave his 
own paper a piece of news; rarely would he allow it even to 
prepare for something he had heard was about to happen. He 



10 6 SCOTT AS EDITOR 

would not use any information which had come to him as a 
private person for the purposes of his paper. He made men 
despair. One night he came abrupdy into a room. “ Have we 
anything ready,” he said, “ about J. L. Paton? ’” “ No, Mr. 
Scott — is he dead? ” “No, no. He’s resigned the High Master- 
ship. I knew a fortnight ago.” Sometimes he overreached him- 
self Once he brought along the usual cutting; it referred to a 
public man in Manchester who had been the subject of 
controversy for years. “ Why did we criticise him like this? ” 
he said, looking vexed. “ Well but, Mr. Scott, we’ve said pretty 
much the same thing about him for two or three years.” “ I 
know, I know,” he said, “ but I’ve spent the last three months 
trying to get him round to a better frame of mind and I had just 
succeeded.” Sometimes he went to London to see Personages. 
When he came back he might mention some of the things that 
had been said to him, and occasionally it seemed to his listeners, 
who were impartial men, that something in the information 
might even have been intended by the Personage to see the 
morning light. The comedy had a set form. “ Don’t you think, 
Mr. Scott, that something of this ought to be indicated in the 
news columns — I mean in order to give it its proper importance — 
or perhaps in the London Letter? ” “C.P.” would appear to 
think over this suggestion. After a time he would say, “ I think, 
perhaps, on the whole, it had better be kept for the Leader. I’m 
just going to write.” Then he wrote the Leader, and the profane, 
seizing the First Edition to see what he had done, would swear 
that neither Personage nor public would ever find the embedded 
news. During the war he often went to London. There was 
one week-end when he went on the Friday and returned on the 
Monday. On Monday morning a full summary of an exciting 
document appeared in a London paper. In the evening this was 
shown to him. He pored over it with recognition and named a 
well-known journalist. “ That’s X,” he said. “ When I went 
to see Z yesterday” — he named a Personage — “X was just 
coming out of his room. He had a copy of this report under his 
arm.” Beaming on his outraged assistants he added, “ I had a 

1 High Master of the Manchester Grammar School. 



C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 


107 

copy too.” Personages must have wept at his loyalty to 
confidence. 

He sought for solid quality in the matter that went into the 
i paper. Being thrifty and determined to have reasonable value 
for money, he tried to catch contributors young, before others 
had detected their quality and their prices had risen. He watched 
the reviews which the paper printed, took notice of new, 
promising authors, and instructed his staff to draw his attention 
to any new contributor who ought to be encouraged. The 
system, which grew up in the newspapers during the war, of 
paying popular novelists large sums to pronounce on any 
question, shocked him. When he was told that one of them 
was paid forty guineas an article he said with great energy “ But 
he’s not worth it! ” The most popular contributor did not 
/attract him if the contribution did not. A famous man of letters 
! offered for a bagatelle some signed speculations on post-war 
Europe. “ C.P.”, not liking their trend, rejected them, and the 
great man wrote pleasantly saying that he had placed them 
elsewhere for a hundred guineas. In administration he had 
Gladstone’s hate of waste. Someone at a conference referred to 
the prevalence of waste in the office. “Waste, waste!” said 
“ C.P.”, looking like Jove when all Olympus trembled at his 
nod, “how can there be waste? ” He threw his head back, 
brushing his beard up and up from beneath and darting side- 
ways glances at the other. “Waste of stationery,” was suggested. 
“Waste of stationery!” he repeated with indignation. “But 
where? ” He turned to the editorial hierarchs. “ What is the 
system by which we get our stationery? ” He was mollified 
when assured that one could scarcely get a postcard without 
filling up a form. 

While “ C.P.” watched the “ feeders ” that led from without 
to the features of the paper, he stimulated his staff with 
suggestions from his widely-ranging mind. He must have sent 
down to them tens of thousands of notes, crisp and shrewd, on 
the topics of the day or the day after, from the threepenny bit to 
the bicycle, from whatnots to salaries for wives, from home- 
baking to Yugoslavia and food-rationing by ticket: 



io8 


SCOTT AS EDITOR 


June ii th y 1911 

This estimate relating to home-baking from stone-milled flour 
seems rather important. I wonder if we could get someone to write 
with knowledge on the extent to which home-baking is still carried 
on among the poor and as to the instruction of girls at the technical 
schools in baking. Home-baking is certainly very much commoner 
in the north of England than in the south. I never had a cook yet 
who could not bake and didn’t expect to do so; whereas in the 
south my friends tell me it is practically a lost art. The whole thing 
would make a good back-pager if we could get the right person 
to do it. 


January 11th, 1917 

It is a large order to break up the Austrian Empire and to recon- 
struct the fragments. We shall have pretty carefully to count the 
cost as well as the practical gain. Would a Southern Slav State, I 
wonder, hold together? These smaller Slavonic nationalities seem 
to have a wonderful capacity for fighting each other. 

February yh, 1917 

In view of the possible imminence of “ rationing ” how would 
it be for someone to write an article giving the most precise informa- 
tion obtainable as to its working in Germany and Austria- 
Hungary? I believe the system of tickets to be entirely unsuited 
to our needs and that the rationing could be far better done by 
a system of local committees to whom a pretty free hand as to 
methods should be given and with some discretionary power. If 
everyone were obliged to select a particular butcher, or baker, or 
grocer, and the tradesmen had to keep a strict account, the 
whole business could be done without the intolerable nuisance of 
tickets or queues. 

If occasionally he was excited on discovering things which 
were not new, it was one side of a cardinal journalistic virtue, 
but sometimes he insisted that the discovery should be 
immediately shared by his readers. The announcement that the 
Manchester Corporation, determined to abate the smoke- 
nuisance, was now hiring out gas-cookers to ratepayers had to 
be delicately transmuted into a sketch of the progress made by 
a long-established piece of municipal machinery up to the point 
which was now triumphantly disclosed, and after “ C.P.” had 
paid an enthusiastic but belated visit to “ the dogs ”, the paper 



“C.P.S ” IN THE OFFICE 


109 

indulged itself in grave appreciation of the aesthetic beauties of 
a scene which, as a sordid stimulant of gambling, it had for some 
time damned. 

“ C.P.” encouraged the use of maps in the news-columns. He 
looked out for the Pointer and the Scale, compared the distances 
in the news-columns with those in the map, though it might be 
a small map of a large country, and wrote a note if he thought 
there was anything wrong. If a Leader contained much 
geography he might have a map specially drawn and inserted 
somewhere else. When it was suggested that a one-column map 
might just as well be dropped into the actual Leader, he smiled 
without warmth; one should not jig about the Ark. He grew * 
to be fond of illustrations. In their early days they had been 
regarded as a comforter for baby-readers, as a little “cheap”; 
hence, for self-respect, drawings were used rather than half-tone 
photographs. Later, in a changed world “ C.P.” would agree, 
for the joke, that some readers might even look at the 
illustrations before the Leaders; why, he did it himself in the 
case oiTheT imes but, of course, that was different. He watched 
the pictures jealously because they were “ so prominent ”. He 
did not like photographs of “ disasters ”. Whereas, thirty years 
ago, he had printed hunting articles to interest hunting people, 
his views had changed so much that at the end he would not 
give a photograph of a meet, however good. He disliked the 
conventional in photography. “ All these football pictures,” he 
said, “ arc exactly alike.” He complained that if photographers 
“ took ” a golfer when driving, they always showed the end 
instead of the beginning of the swing. They must, he said, be 
told to change their ways; but he yielded when assured that a 
photographer clicking his camera just when one of the most 
sensitive creatures was about to drive would be as good as dead. 
To caricatures he never folly reconciled himself For a special 
purpose, for a short time, as at an election, they might be 
tolerable, but since as he said, “ they hit you in the face ”, he 
suspected them. The sense of proportion which he prized they 
lacked. 

To his staff he was courteous and suave, with an absolute 



no 


SCOTT AS EDITOR 


authority. Those under his eye he ruled with an almost military 
discipline but he did not like it said so. To men occupying new 
posts he made clear his desire that the machine should run with- 
out friction, and what he desired he assumed. He directed by 
tone as much as by word. If he said “ It is important that there 
should be no friction . . .” it was enough. As he grew old he 
could not tolerate the loud and truculent; he protected himself 
against them by not seeing them. He welcomed criticism, the 
^threshing of ideas, the opposition of independent minds. “ X 
is weak,” he said. “ He proposes something and, when you 
object, agrees with all you say.” He believed so much in the 
goodness of human nature that he could be taken in by private 
and public humbugs. When the Germans first dropped bombs 
on undefended places he would not believe it; on the ground 
that there must be defences of which the Germans knew, he 
sent people to look for them. 

He had a stock of euphemisms. Acts of insubordination were 
“ irregular ”, the worst “ most irregular ”. A person with whom 
nothing could be done “ had to go ”. He told of a colleague 
who, in the 1870’s, would not produce reports as the young 
“ C.P.”, the new editor, wanted them. “ Eventually,” he 
summed up brightly, “ he had to go.” He never completely 
trusted anyone whom he had once detected by sight, sound, or 
smell, to have taken alcohol in excess. One night when he was 
in the room of a junior, the door opened stealthily and in the 
aperture appeared a large flushed face, whose owner, 1 looking 
fixedly for some seconds at “ C.P.”, said with solemnity, “ It’s 
all right, Mr. Scott.” “ C.P.” regarded him without speaking. 
The intruder, his face bathed in benevolence, repeated, “ It’s all 
right, Mr. Scott,” and 2s stealthily withdrew. “ C.P.”, his head 
thrust forward and brisding like a well-bred dog, glared at the 
closed door. Then he said, “ He’s been drinking. He’ll have to 
go.” To “have to go” was the regular verb in which he 
conjugated the ultimate sentence. Later the culprit “ went ”, 
though another reason w2s given him. No one could despatch 
^thc silken bow-string with more courtesy than “ C.P.” 

1 Now dead. 



“C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE hi 

Letter-writing was to him a subtle instrument through which 
to convey the nicest shades of purpose. He was a master of the 
art, from silences to plainest speech. He worked on an important 
letter as on a leader or a review, seeking the j ust word, demanding 
a subordinate’s criticism, looking like a chess-player to the moves 
beyond the next, drafting and redrafting. No one wrote with 
more intention. A novice pointed out to him, when he had 
written a careful reply to an important letter, that he had not 
answered one of the principal paragraphs. “ Well, no,” he said 
with a smile, “ you see, that is the answer. He’ll understand.” 
He could convey a warning in an ambiguity and by silence 
procure a resignation. He preferred the flexibility of letters to 
the brusqueness of the telegram. He desired others to write as 
he did, to the point. He could not do with wordy letters or 
memoranda, and often he did not read them. “ Another long 
screed from X! ” he would say, “ let me know what he says ” — 
and “ Would you read this for me and tell me if I ought to 
answer personally.” It was alleged that one man had fought a 
winning battle against “ C.P.’s ” critical notes by a counter- 
bombardment with lengthy memoranda. 

Himself scrupulous in answering letters, “ C.P.” expected his 
staff to be so. If anyone wrote complaining that an earlier 
letter had not been adequately treated, “ But it was, of course, 
acknowledged? ” he asked. The only letters which he ignored 
were those which he called “ ill-conditioned ” and “ impossible ”. 
He would send a letter on with a note “An ill-conditioned 
screed! Read and destroy !” or “ An impossible fellow ! Better 
just file.” He was generous to all who had a reasonable point 
of view to put forward in the correspondence columns; news- 
papers being almost a monopoly, the public must be granted 
its voice. But he would not allow the display of ill-temper which 
the correspondence columns of a newspaper attract. For this 
reason he was slow to ventilate theological and ecclesiastical 
questions. He feared the ill-temper of the bickering sects, some 
of whom, though he always kept the balance even between them, 
complained each that he favoured another. There were those 
who, if a paragraph were dropped in the nightly scurry out of 1 



112 


SCOTT AS EDITOR 


a 24-page paper, thought that he was conspiring against their 
faith, if faith it was. He was patient, but he abstained from 
giving them occasions. He rejected more than once a suggestion 
that the paper should have a series of articles summarising the 
recent course of the Higher Criticism at home and abroad. 
“ They ” would be up in arms. “ But, Mr. Scott, if the writer 
only described the theories of the critics without pronouncing 
on them, they could not well protest.” “ Oh, yes,” he said, “ they 
would. They would want to know why we were doing it.” In 
religious discussion, like that of the Prayer Book, he kept the 
writing in his own hands. He was surprised, as well as pleased, 
when at last he found a substitute on the staff to satisfy him. 

Those who knew “ C.P.” only in his later years spoke of 
his defective memory. But it had always been so, nor was it 
defective so much as capricious. One day a subordinate reported 
himself on return from holiday. “ Ah, my dear fellow,” said 
“C.P.”, “back from holiday? Have you had a good time? ” 
“ Yes, thank you, Mr. Scott.” “ Where have you been? ” “ I’ve 
been down in Kent.” “ Among the hop-fields? ” “ Right in 
the middle of them.” “ And did you do any hopping? ” On 
the next night, at the same time, the subordinate waited on 
“ C.P.” “ Ah, my dear fellow,” he said cordially, “ back from 
holiday? Have you had a good time? ” “ Yes, thank you, Mr. 
Scott.” “ Where have you been? ” “ I’ve been down in Kent.” 
“Among the hop-fields? ” and so on to the end of the kind 
interrogation, with no ripple from yesterday’s existence troubling 
his serenity. That was when he was at the height of his powers. 
He forgot names and faces easily. “ Who is that ? ” he said when 
a man who had been two or three years in the office passed him. 
“X? Ah, a newcomer, I suppose. I think I haven’t come across 
him yet.” His forgetfulness was, perhaps, partly self-protective. 
He remembered what mattered by forgetting what did not. If 
no one knew what he might forget, no one was certain what he 
would not remember, nor did lapses of memory impede the 
powerful working of his mind. 

There was a character on a famous football field who, when 
he made an assertion, confirmed it solemnly by saying “ an’ no 






"C.P.S.” IN THE OFFICE 


bettin’.” “ C.P.” was an editor “ an’ no bettin’.” He thought 
of the paper as possessing, in whole and in part, a character 
which nothing must diminish. The character safe, anything 
might be changed. He himself read slowly, wrote slowly, made 
up his mind slowly, but he was tremendously right when his 
mind was made up. Serene in spirit, he strengthened any who 
were rudely shaken by the inevitable mishaps of newspaper 
work. Courage and composure did not fail him. He was, as 
the Teutons said of the Romans, “ invincible, not to be overcome 
by any blow.” As such a man he is remembered by the 
generations of those who gladly served him, from the days of his 
prime to the later years when, white and bowed, but still with 
fresh, clear mind, still inspiring and directing with the old fire, 
he hurried with quick shuffling steps along the corridors, and so 
to the last months when sometimes, his son absent, he “ took 
Leaders ” and sat long over the fire, holding some piece of 
“ copy ” in his hand, his mind far away but trying still to respond 
to each new call on his attention, grave and cheerful, firm and 
courteous, a greater journalist and a greater man than his staff 
had known or will know. 



1825 

ADVERTISING AN ARDWICK SEMINARY 


H 


SCOTT'S LIEUTENANTS 


By H. D. Nichols 


W. T. ARNOLD 

W . T. Arnold, the first chief leader writer of C. P. 

Scott’s own appointing, was a grandson of Arnold of 
Rugby. Matthew Arnold was his uncle and Mrs. Humphry 
Ward his sister. In 1879 when Scott brought him from Oxford 
to try his hand at journalism in Manchester he had just won the 
Arnold Prize (awarded in memory of his grandfather) with an 
essay on Roman Provincial Administration. It was recognised as 
much beyond the usual prize essay in merit and its subject and 
historical period were to remain an absorbing interest of its 
author’s life. History gave Arnold to journalism and journalism 
took the gift at history’s expense. For though he continued to 
work at his chosen period during his seventeen years on the 
Guardian, doubling the task with that presented by his new 
career to the sad detriment of leisure, his success in history was 
that of an influence rather than an achievement and little was 
left to show for it. 

Arnold believed, however, that the two disciplines of scien- 
tific history and day-to-day journalism were complementary, and 
so far as his journalism was concerned those who knew him best 
felt that he had proved his case. At the age of forty-four he was 
struck down by a “ rheumatism ” which proved to be a more 
serious spinal complaint and had to retire from the paper, but 
not before he had established a reputation among those who 
knew as one of the great journalists of his day. “ Those who 
knew ” were not many and, though he had made Manchester 
the centre of his interests from the day of his arrival in the city, 
Manchester scarcely knew him. His role was anonymous; his 
pen was that of the paper to which he gave himself it has been 



SCOTT’S LIEUTENANTS 


II 5 

said, “ as a Jesuit to the order.” “ There is no limit ” he himself 
would sometimes quote, “ to what a man can do when he does 
not care who gains the credit for it.” Quoting for the benefit of 
another he might have, but did not, make the application to 
himself. Arnold played the full part in shaping the paper which 
is only possible when first-rate intellectual power and force of 
character are allied with the aptitude and zest for their full 
exercise under the exacting conditions of newspaper produc- 
tion. “ He wrote,” as the greatest of his contemporaries has 
said, “ by choice, on far more things than most men of fair 
mental power and alacrity can discuss at call without becoming 
mere thinkers by proxy and re-arrangers of unfelt phrases.” 

In politics Arnold was guided by two strong influences, an 
intense interest in human individuality and a strong respect for 
authority in things intellectual. But he disliked the practice 
common in the journalism of his day of concentrating all the 
writing strength of a paper on politics. It was criticism, he main- 
tained, that stamped a paper more than anything, and he himself 
wrote particularly of painting and the theatre with unusual 
reserves of relevant knowledge. Roman history has been called 
c-the “ trade wind ” of his intellectual life but he was widely 
and deeply read in many subjects. He had the true journalist’s 
universal curiosity; no mere inquisitiveness but a passion for 
thoroughness of inquiry. Where he was not an expert he 
generally knew what the experts were at and would reveal him- 
self surprisingly abreast of the times in a galaxy of subjects. His 
seventeen years were all too short but they left a tradition in the 
office which is not to be ignored. 

C. E. MONTAGUE 

C. E. Montague who came to the paper as a young man from 
Balliol in 1890, became chief writer when ill-health compelled 
Arnold’s retirement six years later. For the next ten years he 
bore a double load of responsibility in the office, for from 1895 
to 1906 the editor represented a Lancashire constituency in the 
House of Commons and had to spend much of his time in 



SCOTT AS EDITOR 


116 

London. In his absence Montague was in effect acting editor 
as well as leader writer. In later years “ C.E.M.” was to be 
better known to the world outside the office; first as a dramatic 
critic whose identity was given away by more than his initials 
and some of whose best criticism was republished in 1911 in 
Dramatic Values; and after the first World War as the author 
of Disenchantment, as the essayist of The Right Place and 
for the short stories of his Fiery Particles. But these were 
the products of such spare time as his exacting work for the 
paper left over. He had been at that for twenty years before his 
first book, A Hind Let Loose, appeared and it was as the 
anonymous leader writer that the bulk of his work was done. 

Montague came, like Arnold and like his editor before him, 
to a Manchester to which he was a stranger and like them he 
took the city to his heart. But it was as a little-known journalist 
working through his paper and not in any sense a public figure. 
His great period was that of Chamberlain’s new Imperialism 
and the South African War, of the Tariff controversy and the 
struggles for Irish freedom and, at home, for Women’s Suffrage. 
It was with these larger national issues that he was chiefly con- 
cerned and, after 1906, with the constitutional issues raised by 
the House of Lords. In these great polemics Montague brought 
to the art and practice of leader writing new gifts which have 
been the inspiration of successors but too often the despair of 
imitators. His published work sometimes seems to reveal an 
intensive pre-occupation with the niceties of style, but in all 
his work for the paper the plain man was his target. Public 
appeal is the essence of the “ Leader ” and there was a directness 
of attack about Montague’s leaders that could not be ignored. 
In controversy, sure of his facts, he was never afraid of provoca- 
tion, and when out for battle with the shoddy and second-rate, 
whether in home or foreign affairs, his use of satire and meta- 
* phor took one back to the days of Swift. What he wrote on 
political issues must be put first, since it was here that he carried 
the heaviest load, but during his thirty-five years on the paper 
the range of interests with which journalism concerns itself was 
always growing and Montague was not the man to neglect any 



SCOTT’S LIEUTENANTS 


117 

of its new opportunities. He would write with his own pungent 
persuasiveness on anything on which he had qualified himself^ 
to do so, and his scope was not narrow. From the beginning he 
had a passion for the theatre, and the school of criticism which 
the Guardian built up, largely round Miss Horniman’s 
Gaiety, owed more than an inspired leadership to “C.E.M.” 
Some of his work on the theatre, produced not in the leisure of 
the study but straight from the theatre and in the last late hour 
before going to press, has been rescued from its first ephemeral 
setting and has already an assured survival. 

Montague was forty-seven when the Kaiser invaded Belgium, 
and as his hair was completely white his age was hard to disguise. 
But he dyed the hair and joined the Royal Fusiliers as a private. 
He reached the front line with his battalion, but it is not surpris- 
ing that he was soon invalided back. Employment at the base 
had never formed part of his ambitions but authority obstructed 
all his attempts to get back to his unit, and after a Provost Mar- 
shal period at Etaples he found himself a captain in the Intelli- 
gence Department at Haig’s G.H.Q.. With a fortunate nicety 
of selection, perhaps unusual in the last war but one, he was 
employed for the rest of the war as a conducting officer, shep- 
herding distinguished visitors and fathering war correspondents 
at the front. This gave him so foil and balanced a view of the 
western war as a whole that he came back foil of the material of 
which he made use not only in Disenchantment and other 
books but in his last years’ work for the paper. This continued 
until 1925 when he retired to the Thames valley which he had 
left for Manchester thirty-five years before. The war years had 
left their mark on him, and three years later on a visit to Man- 
chester for some university celebrations, he took a chill and 
from that pneumonia, from which he did not recover. 

L. T. HOBHOUSE 

L. T. Hobhouse was a regular member of the editorial staff 
for five years between 1897 and 1902. After he left he was an 
intermittent contributor. For a few years he was a director of the 



Il8 SCOTT AS EDITOR 

firm and towards the end of his life he would come back to 
Manchester occasionally to do a month’s “ duty ” as a leader 
writer. But he was not, as was Montague or as Arnold had been, 
'a Guardian man in the sense that the paper was his life’s interest 
and his life the paper’s. He left Oxford to come to Manchester 
not as a new graduate but at the age of thirty-three, as an ex- 
Fellow of Corpus with a reputation already won as a teacher 
and thinker. His important book, The Theory of Knowledge, 
had been published in 1896. The purely academic life never 
satisfied Hobhouse, whose more than hereditary Liberalism was 
allied with a passion for social reform. After he left the Guardian 
he was for a time the secretary of the Free Trade Union. As a 
chairman of Trade and Conciliation Boards he was an active 
assistant in the social evolution of the pre-war period, and in 
the chair of Sociology in London University, which he held 
from 1907 to the time of his death, he helped to create the inter- 
national reputation of the London School of Economics. 
Leonard Hobhouse is remembered for his work as a philosopher 
and a sociologist. His Mind in Evolution ranked him with 
Russell and Alexander among the original thinkers of his 
generation, and his great volume of work on social theory as the 
most eminent of contemporary social philosophers. It was in 
the interval which lay between his ten years as an Oxford don 
and his great period of creative activity in London that he 
turned to the Manchester Guardian as giving him an opportunity 
of applying theory to the practice or criticism of public affairs. 
(Later the same motive led him to accept the political editorship 
of the ill-fated Tribune .) In the dying years of the last century 
a great part of Liberal thought was directed to the problems 
posed by the new fashion in Imperialism, particularly as they 
were illustrated in South Africa. Perhaps its finest summing-up 
was to be found in Hobhouse’s Democracy and Reaction. The 
book was published in 1904, but the ideas that Hobhouse 
presented in its pages as a considered criticism had been defended 
in detail in articles he had •written in the Manchester Guardian 
on social and industrial questions and on the South African 
issue. His gift of trenchant argument and his remarkable power 



SCOTT’S LIEUTENANTS 


”9 

of grasping and judging all the details of a complicated con- 
troversy were seen to great advantage in his handling of the South 
African war and the Chamberlain-Milner policy. 

HERBERT SIDEBOTHAM 

Two years before the comparatively mature Hobhousc joined 
the staff there arrived from Balliol a younger man of the same 
university who, under Scott’s tutelage was to exercise as great 
an influence on the paper and on its staff as Montague. Unlike * 
his seniors, Herbert Sidebotham was a Mancunian and anv 
intensely loyal one. (Manchester in his case must be taken to 
embrace Salford, for it was in Salford that he had been bred and 
in Broughton that he continued to live.) The Manchester 
Grammar School had set him on the road to scholarship, and at 
Oxford he had been one of its noted successes. In later years 
when London knew him as a leading figure in Fleet Street, first 
on The Times and afterward as “ Scrutator ”, Sidebotham never 
forgot the Lancashire to which he belonged or the school or the 
v/editorial corridor in which the first twenty-three years of his 
journalistic life had been spent. His contribution to the paper 
was more than that of a writer, and there were few members of 
its staff from leader-writing colleagues to the junior members 
of the reporting staff who did not feel and profit from his 
influence. It was not a process into which self-consciousness 
entered, but “ Sider ” (as everyone from “ C.P.S.” downwards 
knew him) had a genius for fellowship and a broad humanity 
which drew the younger men to him as by an irresistible 
attraction. 

In later years Sidebotham came to be known more than for 
anything else for his work as a military critic, which chimed '> 
in oddly enough with the passionate conviction with which he 
would devote himself to the cause of peace. Scholarship sat 
lightly on him; he had the imagination of the creative historian 
i/and would fit current events into a wide perspective. His first 
studies of the principles of war in the light of present application 
were made during the Boer War on which he made a daily com- 



120 


SCOTT AS EDITOR 


mentary. Fourteen years later he was to take up a similar task 
in the World War when his “ Student of War ” articles attracted 
wide attention. (Foch put it on record that he found them the 
only thing of the kind in the Press worth reading.) It was in 
this capacity as a critic of military affairs that Sidebotham after- 
wards served The Times , but in the political writing on which 
he concentrated after the war he was, if anything, even more at 
home and not less effective. It was as a political writer that he 
had served and passed his apprenticeship in the early years of 
the century. He set little limit to his interests and he would write 
with equal force and penetration on a wide range of subjects in 
domestic or foreign policy. His emphasis on personality and 
individuality, his complete freedom from snobbery and humbug 
and his constant search for principles in the conduct of public 
•' affairs derived from a Radical ancestry. To study either his 
manner or his method was a journalistic education. His political 
journalism was rooted in the art of persuasion; himself always 
a “ student ” in his attitude to anything he was called upon to 
handle, he sought to convince only by informing and reasoning 
and, because he paid his readers the compliment of assuming 
that they were rational men who would desire to know and 
understand, the influence he exercised was wide and enduring. 



1825 

A MUSIC SHOP ADVERTISEMENT 



4 


THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


THE “LONDON END” 

By Harry Boardman 

I n the beginning, that is in the early sixties of last century and 
for some time afterwards, the “ London End ” was embodied 
in a single person. He was the provider of a London Letter, at 
first two or three times a week, and then, beginning in 1870, 
daily. To-day, eighty-six years later, the “ London End ” is not 
one individual but many. The single star has become the centre 
of a constellation. Or, lest it be thought there is a touch of con- 
ceit about the celestial simile, let us say he has become the leader 
of an orchestra. This evolution has been gradual. It represents 
a continuous response to the enlarging functions of the modern 
newspaper. Around the London Editor to-day revolve reporters 
and sub-editors; the Political Correspondent and the Parlia- 
mentary sketch writer; the Diplomatic Correspondent and the 
Labour Correspondent; the Financial Editor, the dramatic, art 
and film critics. And then, sitting more loosely to the office, arc 
the outside contributors each at command on his special subject. 
The Political Correspondent and the Parliamentary sketch 
writer sprang into being, not only on the Manchester Guardian 
but on all the chief newspapers, towards the end of the last cen- 
tury. The Diplomatic and Labour Correspondents arrived on 
the heels of the 19x4-18 war. After the first World War, foreign 
policy passed for ever out of the exclusive hands of the diplomats 
and became the concern of the ordinary citizen. That trans- 



122 THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 

formation, together with the birth of the League of Nations, 
called for expert interpretation of the day’s foreign news as 
well as for more and more space for the foreign news itself. So 
emerged the Diplomatic Correspondent. At home, the great 
growth in the power and influence of the trade unions, much 
accentuated by the war, demanded a specialist’s treatment of 
news in this field also. Since the 1914-18 war the London office 
has become the great relay post for the Manchester Guardian’s ^ 
correspondents abroad. All their messages, cabled or telephoned, 
pour in nightly to be transmitted over private wire and tele- 
phone to Manchester. Two of the world’s notable newspapers 
take the Manchester Guardian’s service, and are lodged with 
u s — the Baltimore Sun and the Winnipeg Free Press. The 
Baltimore Sun’s association with the Manchester Guardian 
began in 1923, and the Winnipeg Free Press in 1936. The South 
African Argus Company, the Associated Press of Australia, the 
Amrita Bazar Patri\a (Calcutta) and others also take the 
service. 

This, then, is where we have arrived after eighty-six 
years. And it all began in the early sixties with Tom 
Taylor, the playwright. He was the first London Editor. 
Not surprisingly the author of the Ticket of Leave Man 
chose to write chiefly about the London theatres and art. A 
Liberal member of Parliament, McCullagh Torrens, followed 
Taylor. He produced a London Letter three times a week. It 
was mainly political. Torrens felt he ought to be in Gladstone’s 
Government. Gladstone thought less highly of Torrens than 
Torrens did of himself^ and Torrens let some of his consequent 
displeasure with Gladstone escape into the Letter. He had to go. 
Tom Hughes, the author of Tom Brown’s School Days, next 
/had an innings, but he had too many other interests to remain 
long in Fleet Street. In 1870 an excellent professional journalist 
was given charge of the Letter — T. S. Townend. It was 
under Townend that it began to be a daily feature. Townend 
carried on for ten years and considerably helped the Manchester 
Guardian on its first stages towards becoming a modern news- 
paper. To Townend succeeded Sir Arthur Arnold. He was 



THE “LONDON END” 


123 

brother of “ The Light of Asia ” Arnold and M.P. for Salford. 
His connection with the paper lasted just a year. He gave place 
to A. J. Mundella (1893-1899), another distinguished Liberal 
politician. For a year — 1900 — H. W. Massingham devoted his 
fine pen to the work; and then came one who set a new stamp 
on the Letter and made it a model for most other Letters going 
out of London to papers in the country. This was J. B. 
Atkins. Like several other notable servants of the Manchester 
Guardian , J. B. Atkins began as its war correspondent, first in 
Cuba, then in the Graeco-Turkish war and finally in South 
Africa. Atkins’ most marked influence on the Letter was to 
humanise it. He diluted its strong political bent and gave more 
space to the kaleidoscopic life of the capital. He found a place 
for the dustman’s point of view as well as the Cabinet minister’s. 
He also pointed the way to spare writing in a period when news- 
paper writing was apt to be lush. During Atkins’ time the 
staff and contributors multiplied. He left the Manchester 
Guardian in 1905 and continued his distinguished journalistic 
career, first, in Paris and Madrid as correspondent of the 
Standard, as assistant editor and editor of the Spectator, and, 
later as editor of the Church Guardian. We still receive signs, 
in his retirement, of his interest in the London office. 

G. W. E. Russell began his long association with the paper at 
this time. “ It was a curious fate,” wrote James Bone of Russell 
in 1921, the occasion of the Manchester Guardian’s centenary, 
“ that made G. W. E. Russell a Liberal and a writer in a Liberal 
paper. For over twenty years he presented his patrician world of 
the well-born and the powerful ... He made the great world 
almost credible to democratic readers.” That world and Russell 
have gone, but much of his writing survives to interest a still 
more democratic age in that widely-read volume, Collections and 
Recollections, which ran through several popular editions. 
Atkins was followed by R. H. Gretton, the historian and author, 
among other works, of that remarkable study, the Records of 
Burford. His London editorship (1905-12) spanned almost 
the whole of the Liberal renaissance. Under him the Letter 
caught the tone of the scholar, and yet it did not foil to be also 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


124 

lively and enterprising. For example, it was Gretton who 
Arranged the first interview ever given to a newspaper by George 
^Meredith. The interview quickly circled the world, for it was 
largely Meredith’s political confession of faith. 

In 1912 there stepped into the chair James Bone, who had 
served under both Atkins and Gretton. This was the beginning 
of the long and shining reign that only ended last Christmas — 
thirty-three years on. When James Bone retired at Christmas 
he received such homage as has rarely fallen to a journalist in 
his own life-time. It came not only from his colleagues on the 
Manchester Guardian, but from the brotherhood of Fleet Street, 
for “ J.B.” is much more than the sum of his qualities as a jour- 
nalist, pre-eminent as those are : he is a rare spirit. Strength and ' 
sensibility do not often combine in such a degree as in him. The 
Letter was his first thought and his pride. Nothing but the best 
was good enough for it. He despised the trite and the derivative. 
A good illustration of it is the title of his enduring book, The 
London Perambulator. How gloriously far is that removed 
from the reach-me-down in tides! But the Letter could not 
exhaust his superabundant energy. The influence of his tire- 
lessly observant mind, his strong feeling for beauty, his subde 
sense of humour flowed into many other parts of the paper. 
His yearly “ Londoner’s Retrospect ” was one of the joys of the 
New Year to the reader of the Manchester Guardian, while his 
commentaries on London’s new buildings provided sharp evalua- 
tions of London’s architectural acquisitions. These had gone 
on since 1903 and broke new ground in journalism. During 
“ J. B.’s ” thirty-odd years the Letter consciously followed the 
convention of a letter from a Londoner to his Manchester friends 
giving what he could gather of the inner side of affairs in politics 
and diplomacy; of the capital’s social life and patterns; and of 
developments in the arts. Nor were the humours and curiosities 
of the great city to be overlooked. The Letter was also to find 
room for miniatures of public figures. That was the Letter as 
James Bone conceived it. It was that it became thirty years ago. 
It is the Letter we inherit from him to-day. 



ART IN THE GUARDIAN 

By James Bone 

S ucceeding his cousin, John Edward T aylor, proprietor and 
editor, C. P. Scott began his editorship under the eye of a great 
art collector. Taylor’s art collection with its richness in late 
Italian masters, medieval stained glass and Turner watercolours , J 
when sold at Christie’s, was one of the biggest art dispersals in 
Edwardian times. Scott himself rarely went to art exhibitions 
and knew few artists or collectors but he thought art important 
to the civilised life. 

In the earlier years the urgent political issues of the times and 
his new problems of control occupied his mind, but in the 
’eighties the Manchester Guardian began to give the same inde- 
pendent and distinguished attention to contemporary art as it 
was giving to the theatre and had always given to literature. 
Walter Armstrong, the vigorous and enlightened writer who 
became Director of the Dublin Art Gallery, was the London art 
critic from 1885 to 1887, and also contributed in later years. 
Claud Phillips, author of many notable art books, was the 
London art critic from 1889 to 1893, and the redoubtable D. S. 
MacColl contributed from 1894 to 1898, followed by R. A. M. 
Stevenson, whose book on Velasquez was one of the marking 
revaluations of the time. Laurence Housman, artist, playwright 
and poet, succeeded him and held the post till 1910, handling 
with force and wit the many art controversies of the period, 
including the Chantrey Bequest Inquiry (which MacColl 
evoked) , the completion of Alfred Stevens’ memorial to Wel- 
lington in St. Paul’s (again MacColl) , the Epstein statues on the 
British Medical Building in the Strand and a lively little engage- 
ment with Holman Hunt over Hunt’s “ Lady of Shalot ” 
picture. 

It was characteristic of Scott that he thoroughly backed the 



126 


THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


Manchester Guardian critics even when, as in the Holman Hunt 
case, it must have gone against the grain for his own pictures 
were mainly pre-Raphaelite. When the attacks on Epstein were 
strongest, as against the Strand sculptures and the Hudson 
Memorial, Scott gave space and editorial support. He sat to 
Epstein for his own bust, and he helped, too, in getting his 
friend, Admiral Fisher, to be sculptured by him. Laurence 
Housman was succeeded by the present writer who, as a second 
| string, had been writing in the paper for some time on archi- 
tecture and the pictorial arts. It may be worth recalling that 
from 1902, with the exception of the war periods, the Man- 
chester Guardian has attempted to give its readers in a yearly 
article a critical description of the notable buildings erected in 
London, while Professor Sir Charles Reilly has allowed few 
buildings of character to go up in the north without critical 
attention in the paper from his brilliant and learned pen. 

A newspaper not published in the capital is more strenuously 
placed than its London contemporaries for it has to provide 
responsible critics of the theatre, music and art in its own city 
and also in London. Recognising the responsibility, the Man- 
chester Guardian has always had in Manchester a strong home 
team — in the theatre its strongest team. The quality of its 
Manchester art criticism can only be gauged until forty years . 
ago by reading its files as names and initials were not given till 
then, but in later years, O. M. Hueffer, E. G. Hawke, Laurence 
Scott, Bernard Taylor, F. W. Halliday and Lawrence Haward 
indicated its sterling character. Eric Newton, who had 
been Manchester art critic, took over the London art criticism in 
1935, and his penetrating and entertaining writings continue to 
be a feature of the paper. 

Besides the regular art critics, Scott from time to time com- 
missioned authorities on special subjects to throw expert light on 
particular London exhibitions, usually those of the Burlington 
Fine Art Club, which so many foreign experts attended. One 
remembers Sir Frederick Cook, Sir Martin Conway, Sir Arthur 
Evans, William Burton, Lewis Day, and Sturge Moore among 
those high authorities. As a footnote to this a member of the V 



ART IN THE GUARDIAN 


127 

London staff recalls an odd experience he had when instructed 
to seek the assistance of (then) Mr. Frederick Cook for a highly 
specialised Giorgione show at the Burlington. He sought him 
at his great warehouse at St. Paul’s Churchyard and after much 
inquiry he found himself at the end of a queue of young men 
apparently to be commended or reproved, awaiting admission 
to the presence. When the Manchester Guardian man’s turn 
came the great warehouseman and art collector asked, 
“Name ? ” The Pressman, by that time rather daunted by events, 
gave his name, and Mr. Cook, consulting his book, said, “ Not 
here — what’s it about? ” “ Giorgione,” faltered the Pressman. 

“ What, what? ” cried Mr. Cook. Then it was all explained 
and the article was duly written and delivered. Lewis Day was 
a pioneer in arts and crafts and in art in industry movements, 
and Sir Arthur Evans a high authority on Greek and Cretan 
sculpture, and William Burton on pottery. It would be hard to 
find in the world’s Press a newspaper with more distinguished 
names among its art writers. 

Into the art controversies of the time the Manchester Guardian 
threw its weight and wit. If it did not always “ greet the unseen v 
with a cheer ” its record bears comparison with any contempo- 
rary. When the Rembrandt tercentenary exhibitions were being 
held in Holland, the Editor sent the art critic there and found 
space for a series of articles, and at the Rome International 
Exhibition the Manchester Guardian was one of the few Euro- 
pean newspapers that gave its important art section many articles, 
one being the first evaluation in the British Press of Ivan Mestro- 
vic’s sculptures. Robert Dell (at one time editor of the learned 
Burlington Art Magazine) was for many years Paris Correspon- 
dent of the paper, and he contributed many brilliant and intimate 
articles on French art matters. When the prospect of a new art 
gallery for Manchester seemed as bright as it now seems faded, 
the Manchester Guardian art critic went round the more modern 
art galleries of Great Britain to give a critical description of 
them. 

From 1901, when it issued a large illustrated Queen Victoria 
Memorial Number, the paper has ’been much concerned with 



128 


THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


illustrated journalism. In that number and in another ambitious 
effort, the Coronation Number of 1902, the artists included 
many of the leading draughtsmen of the time. But it was in the 
more intimate development of illustration that the paper took 
a distinctive line. Jack B. Yeats in 1906 visited Manchester and 
made a delightfully pungent series of drawings with notes of 
characteristic Manchester scenes, including a gem of the interior 
of the lamented Old Slip Inn at concert time, and he also 
illustrated Synge’s Irish sketches in the paper. Many years after- 
wards Karel Capek’s “ Letters from England,” with his own 
illustrations, appeared in the Manchester Guardian , followed by 
his articles and pictures on his visit to Spain. The great Spanish 
caricaturist, Bagaria, contributed cartoons, and his mural series 
of the world’s heroes on the walls of El Sol’s office in Madrid 
(now destroyed) also appeared in the paper. 

Sir Max Beerbohm contributed from time to time many dis- 
tinguished cartoons, including his series “ John Bull’s Second 
Childhood,” and his not quite prophetic vision of the First 
Labour Foreign Minister, and a gallery of the Victorian great 
after they had been sheared of their whiskers and beards and 
locks. One experiment was Max’s drawing of Lytton Strachey’s 
long figure meandering down the centre of a page with type all 
round it, so that the reader would exclaim as he opened the paper, 
“ Hello — here’s Strachey! ” Scott was keenly concerned in the 
appearance of the illustrations, and introduced “ frames ” of 
lines round the pictures and other methods to accentuate their 
importance. Before technical processes had reached their present 
excellence in all newspapers the Manchester Guardian reproduc- 
tions had by various devices attained a reputation that brought 
experts from foreign countries as well as from our London con- 
temporaries to Cross Street to study the methods there which 
was always open to responsible inspection even though that 
sometimes meant the loss of the paper’s best technicians to these 
“ visiting firemen 

The number of eminent artists who have contributed of their 
best to the paper has been a particular pride to it. Sir Muirhead 
Bone’s drawings of the Victory Procession of 1919, and his night 




C. E. MONTAGUE, 1867-1928 




L. T. IlOBHOUSK, i Sf> 4 1929 




ART IN THE GUARDIAN 


129 

picture of the crowd cheering George the Sixth at Buckingham 
Palace on Coronation night, and his Spanish series, Sir William 
Rothenstein’s portraits of Rodin, Russell Wallace and other 
famous men and scenes, and portraits by Francis Dodd, Henry 
Lamb, Joseph Pennell, F. L. Emanuel and Hanslip Fletcher 
stand out. Miss Silvia Baker’s Zoo studies and Horace Taylor’s 
ingenious cartoons, also deserve honourable mention. 

In most of those appointments and commissions instructions 
came from C. P. Scott, and even when aged he was quick to 
grasp and accept new points of view, even those which seemed 
furthest from the pre-Raphaelite conceptions with which he had 
originally decorated his own characteristic and attractive home, 
The Firs, at Fallowfield. But one thinks of him there in his 
brief leisure hours with his mind on his flowers rather than on 
his pictures. A memory of The Firs that comes back to me is 
of a birthday dinner with the guests, mainly his sons and his 
daughter and their families, seated at a long, narrow table like 
that in Millais’s “ Isabel and Lorenzo The windows to the 
gardens were slightly open, and a breeze flickered the two long j 
rows of candles and daffodils that he himself had carefully 
chosen and set in their glasses. An Empire convex mirror on 
the wall behind gathered and reflected in little in the half light 
the lit table and the flowers and the animated company and the 
aged host himself, all at the moment strangely transient anck/ 
affecting in the flicker of the candles. 


1 



BOOKS AND REVIEWERS 

By A. S. Wallace 

W hen Scott came to editorship the best in English fiction 
still found an outlet in the three-volume novel at 21s., 
and the new trends and discoveries in science, philosophy and 
religion reached a limited public mainly through learned 
reviews. When he laid down his pen the most brilliant work of 
Wells, Bennett or Galsworthy could be had for 6 s., and for 6 d. 
the man in the street could buy a paper-backed explanation 
of Einstein’s theory of relativity. The reading public had 
increased by millions, the annual output of books swollen to 
a flood. Between the wars some 7,000 volumes of all sorts 
reached the Guardian office for review in the course of a normal 
year. Scott’s working lifetime saw a revolution in the attitude 
of the Press to current literature, and in it the Guardian played 
a distinctive part. 

Book reviews were few and anonymous in the paper before 
Scott’s time, but in his early days in Manchester he took a hand 
in what there were. We find him quoting with amused zest the 
livelier passages of a new romance by Harrison Ainsworth, or 
appraising the latest novel from the pen of “ The Author of 
John Halifax, Gentleman ”. Later, in the ’eighties, his wife took 
a share of novel reviewing and Scott began to look for able 
outside contributors who could help to meet the growing need 
for intelligent handling of books. His lifetime friend Sir A. W. 
Ward was notable among these. Before the end of last century 
the Guardian was steadily carrying its six columns of reviews 
a week, and the course was set for the expansion the early years 
of this century demanded. 

As the tide of books mounted a system for dealing with them 
had to be devised, and Scott entrusted the canalisation of the \ 
flood to some member of his staff who, on a paper less jealous 

130 



BOOKS AND REVIEWERS 


I 3 I 

of such titles, would have been called Literary Editor. As it was 
on the Guardian , someone habitually “ took the books ” in the 
course of his other duties. But Scott’s active interest in the 
feature was never relaxed. The selection made and the reviewers 
chosen were referred to him each night. Nor was this an empty 
formality. Often he would enjoin for a book that specially ' 
interested him — usually politics or biography — a greater length 
of notice than had been suggested. Or he might debar on| 
grounds of incorrigible prolixity or obscurity (seldom of hetero- 
doxy) this or that unquestioned authority to whom a book on 
a special subject had been consigned. 

His mind was predictable. His willingness to listen to reason 
unfailing. In literature, as in all the arts, he welcomed, even if 
he did not always approve, new ideas and experimental work, 
and he sought at once for someone who could explain its basis 
and intention to his readers. 

A serious treatise on any topic from Astronomy to Zionism, 
a volume on the arts, an essay in English letters would go to the 
greatest available authority on the subject with the sole provisos 
— the first not always too strictly enforced — that he should write 
to the length ordered and that academic eminence should not 
excuse him for failing to make himself understood by the 
^ layman. 

Allan Monkhouse who kept keen watch for Scott on the 
Guardian’s book columns for over a quarter of a century, and 
who did so much to strengthen them, wrote zestfully of the ■ 
contributors in the year of the paper’s centenary: 

The reviewers are of many kinds and shades of opinion. There 
are even Tories, and if we have not a Turk there are certainly 
Jews, infidels, and heretics. But there are bishops, too, a fine array 
of professors and dons, poets, playwrights, novelists, artists, poli- 
ticians, sociologists, historians, men of science and of commerce. 

In dealing with fiction, as the output grew, Guardian policy 
held it more important that no first novel of promise should 
go unregarded than that the latest product of an established 
“ best-seller ” should have space. The search for fresh talent, 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


132 

when the spring and autumn tides flowed freely and might cast 
up three score novels a week, was exacting; but reward came 
when, as often, a chosen author made good and needed for his 
second novel a less anxious scrutiny. 

Such was the system as it evolved, under Scott, in the hands 
of Monkhouse and his successors. The aim was to account 
intelligendy for as wide a diversity of worth-while books as 
possible. The tendency, developed elsewhere in the Press, to 
entrust a “ book of the week ” to a single lively writer and give 
him all the available space for an essay built round it had no 
reflection in the Guardian. It seemed to Scott, and to all who 
“ took the books ” for him, to do scant justice to authors, pub- 
lishers or readers. But for reflections on literary trends and the 
modes and inspirations of the time room was made in a regular 
“ Books and Bookmen ” feature to which Ernest Rhys, among 
others, contributed, but which, over many years, Allan Monk- 
house especially made the medium for essays in which he sur- 
veyed the contemporary world of letters with gentle irony and, 
broadly based discretion. 

The main plan of book reviewing had of course to be altered 
and supplemented by occasional quick reviews, for day of pub- 
lication, of books of outstanding importance or news interest. 
These adventures fell usually on an inside reviewer and 
demanded quick reading and writing. One recalls as particu- 
larly strenuous the task of accounting, with an eye on the clock, 
for Shaw’s Bac\ to Methuselah and Lytton Strachcy’s Queen 
Victoria. Sometimes, too, routine was varied by the enthusiasm 
of a reviewer, and who more likely to upset routine than Shaw ? 
When the authentic Life of Samuel Butler was published the 
Guardian, recalling Shaw’s confessed debt to Butler, asked him 
to notice it. Back came a characteristically gay note in the 
familiar green ink remarking that no editor of a daily paper 
could afford the space that he would need to do justice to Butler. 
It was equally characteristic of Scott to reply promptly that the 
space was his, and Butler was duly honoured with a review that 
took the major portion of a Guardian page, with an excellent 
portrait to embellish a brilliant article. 



BOOKS AND REVIEWERS 


*33 

“ Taking the books,” was one of the most inspiriting jobs 
in a journalist’s life on the Guardian. The sense of community 
with able minds that came from daily contact with so strong a 
team of reviewers gave constant interest to the task. Monk- 
house put it well: ‘‘We owe much to our reviewers,” he wrote, 
“ and they owe something to us. We have given chances to fine 
minds . . .” May it not be long before such contacts can be 
fully renewed. 



1825 

AN ENTERTAINMENT ADVERTISEMENT 




THE GUARDIAN AND THE 
NEW DRAMA 
By A. S. Wallace 

W hen Scott took charge of the Manchester Guardian in 
1871, the first faint stirrings were already felt throughout 
Europe of the renaissance of drama that was to mark the end 
of the 19th century. Ibsen had written Brand and Peer 
Gynt, though he was scarcely known outside Norway. In 
France, Zola was busy on plays that dealt realistically with the 
fast-changing world. The vision of man as the sport of | 
inexorable fate that had inspired the greatest playwrights] 
through the ages was giving place to a conception of humanity’s 
struggle for freedom from outworn customs, unjust laws and 
economic barriers. 

In Britain the new drama gained ground slowly. Matthew 
Arnold could write in 1879: “ In England we have no modern 
drama at all. Our vast society is not homogeneous enough, not 
sufficiendy united, even any large portion of it, in a common 
view of life, a common ideal serving as a basis for a modern 
English drama.” But in the 1880’s the supply of artificial French 
plays on which the English stage had largely relied began to 
fail. In 1887 the Theatre Libre was founded and the French 
playwrights got to grips with the realities of the age. In 
England, at the same time, Pinero and Henry Arthur Jones 
came to the rescue of the theatre. In 1889 Ibsen’s A Doll’s 
House was produced in London, and two years later the 
Independent Theatre was founded with Shaw as one of its first 
playwrights. 

Scott from the first was fully alive to the theatre’s importance. 
His paper had from its earliest days given generous space to 
drama. The succession of famous actor-managers from Kean 

»34 



THE GUARDIAN AND THE NEW DRAMA 


r 35 

and Macready onwards who visited the old Theatre Royal in 
Manchester, had been fully, sometimes trenchantly, dealt with. J 
But Scott was not satisfied. In a letter to his sister in 1871 he 
mentioned his half-formed thought of becoming dramatic critic. 
Had he found time for such an extension of his work he would 
have found himself dealing with drama that increasingly treated 
the social problems nearest to his heart. 

He contented himself with entrusting dramatic criticism to 
the ablest team he could muster. In Manchester, Sir Adolphus 
Ward, then a Professor at Owens College, was the first of his 
appointments, but Ward was soon followed by W. T. Arnold, 
Oliver Elton, C. E. Montague and Allan Monkhouse. In 4 
London, as the new movement gathered strength, it was 
appraised by, among others, William Archer, who had done so 
much to pioneer it, and Philip Carr, who later was to keep the 
Guardian’s readers in touch with the contemporary French 
stage. 

Manchester, under this cultivation, soon became a city where 
the intelligent author and actor were assured of informed 
appreciation. In the last decades of the century the chief fore 
was still largely Shakespeare and the classics, but soon Montague 
was writing zestfully of Coquelin in Rostand’s Cyrano, Elton* 
soberly analysing Ibsen amid the “ howling of the dervishes ” • 
who found that master’s work intolerable, and Arnold remarking 
of Pinero’s The Second Mrs. Tanqueray that “ at last a living 
Englishman has written a play of which it is possible to be 
proud ”. 

Scott’s promotion of dramatic criticism to a foremost place 
among the paper’s features greatly helped to prepare Manchester 
for becoming, as she soon did, the foremost city in England 
outside London for the presentation of the new drama. Miss 
Homiman acquired the Gaiety Theatre in 1908. She had 
already established the Irish National Players in their home in 
the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. When they visited London with 
plays by Yeats and Synge, the comment of the Guardian was 
that “ these Irish actors have contrived to reach back past most 
of the futilities that have grown upon the ordinary theatre of 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


commerce and get a fresh, clean hold on their craft in its 
elements.” 

In Manchester Miss Horniman collected a company that did 
justice with a similar sincerity to the stream of exciting new 
plays that marked the early years of this century, and in Liver- 
pool, Birmingham and Glasgow, the Gaiety’s success proved 
""the inspiration of resident companies who brought distinction 
to their cities by their presentation of the work of Barrie, Shaw, 
Galsworthy, Masefield, Bennett, Granville Barker, St. John 
Hankin and others. The time had come again when an English 
author with something worth-while to say could turn to the 
theatre as his medium. In the famous Vedrennc-Barker tenure 
of the Court Theatre in London, and in the chief cities through- 
out the country, with Manchester leading them, he could be sure 
of thoughtful criticism and of audiences attuned to playgoing in 

f hich every week offered fresh intellectual adventure. 

Scott, with Montague’s guidance, strengthened his team to 
meet the welcome flood of new authorship and memorable first 
nights, fames Agate, Stanley Houghton, Harold Brighouse, 
with Monkhouse and Montague himself were among those who 
made the Manchester school of criticism as notable as its stage. 
Some of the critics were to be memorable contributors to what 
came to be called the “repertory movement” — though Miss 
Horniman disliked that misuse of the word. Houghton’s Hindle 
Wa\es, Brighouse’s Hobson’s Choice, and The Conquering 
Hero and Mary Broome by Monkhouse were among the uncon- 
ventional but successful plays that Miss Horniman’s reign at the 
Gaiety provoked from Lancashire authors. 

The movement that the Guardian did so much to aid in its 
beginnings seemed likely to revolutionise British play-going. 
Enforced contentment with the often shoddy fare offered by the 
touring “ West-end success ” was at an end, and large areas 
throughout the country were given direct contact with the 
newest and ablest dramatic work of the time. Actors and 
audiences alike benefited by the stimulus. Many of die Gaiety 
company’s members who later became more widely famous, 
like Sybil Thorndike, Lewis Casson, Irene Rooke and Milton 



THE GUARDIAN AND THE NEW DRAMA 137 

Rosmcr, have recalled how rare and helpful in their art was 
1 the combination then available of worth-while drama, informed 
criticism and intelligent audience. 

Like much else, the repertory movement was hard hit by the 
first World War. The Gaiety went down, and with it Alfred 
Wareing’s Glasgow Repertory. Sir Barry Jackson at Birming- 
ham, and William Armstrong with the Liverpool Playhouse, 
survived to carry the torch. But with Montague home from the 
front and again in charge of drama, the Guardian still found 
much in the theatre to discover and praise. “ C.E.M.’s ” 
enthusiasm was infectious to all who worked with him. They 
learned to set more store by an adventurous and sincere produc- 
tion in one of the little theatres that even the all-conquering 
cinema could not kill than by the visits of famous actor-managers 
in the well-tried cloak-and-sword dramas of tradition. If there 
was no Gaiety, the more reason to seek the survival of its spirit 
wherever it might be found. 

Now the quest might lead one to the first performance of 
Shakespeare in modern dress — Cymbeline— at the Birmingham 
Repertory, now to Drinkwater’s Abraham Lincoln or the first 
night of a new St. John Ervine, or Brighouse, at Liverpool, 
with the obligation to get thoughts on to paper in a last train that 
bounced embarrassingly eastward over the springy bed of Chat 
Moss. Perhaps the Stockport Garrick would daringly attempt 
Stephen Phillips’s Paolo and Francesca , or the Unnamed Society 
of Manchester, tackling its own costumes, scenery and lighting, 
put on an uncommon play by one of its own members or a gem 
from world drama that mere box-office vision would never have 
chanced upon. The files of the paper in the 1920’s abound in 
discovery of new ideas, new treatment, and sincere and often 
able work by the progressive amateurs and semi-amateur theatres 
of the north-west. 

The great outburst of English playwriting that had marked 
the beginning of the century had lost its force. The period was 
not wholly barren. Shaw, for instance, with his St. Joan in 
1924, became at last a popular dramatist. But it was in Central 
Europe, in Russia, in Germany, and in Italy, that new con- 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


138 

ceptions of drama’s purpose were to be found. It fell to Ivor 
Brown, whose appointment to the “ London end ” as dramatic 
critic had greatly strengthened the paper’s staff, to explain the 
inter-war modes of the Continental stage as he experienced 
them on his travels. From his lucid and forceful articles Guardian 
readers learned of the progress of Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art 
Theatre and its revolutionary rivals, of Georg Kaiser, the Capek 
brothers and the “ expressionist school ” who, abandoning as 
their protagonist Ibsen’s “ alone upstanding man ” conceived 
the individual as a cypher among a mass, or in more fanciful 
moments, as an insect or a robot. To him also it fell to make 
clear the meaning and value of those dramatic inquiries into the 
nature of reality that distinguished Pirandello’s work, to relate 
all this experiment to the main course of drama’s history, and 
to estimate (with a healthy scepticism) its chances of per- 
manence. The Continental work found little echo in the English 
drama or the English theatre, though Mr. Priestley would prob- 
ably not deny some debt to Pirandello for those experiments with 
time which he has conducted so engagingly, and in America 
Eugene O’Neill and Elmer Rice were conceiving in terms that 
owed much to the Continental modes. 

In Manchester a theatre determined to take account of the 
new press of ideas came to birth in a suburb. In the 1920’s and 
for some years after a journey to Rusholme gave the Manchester 
playgoer contact with the contemporary drama of the world, 
compctendy performed. A glance at the Guardian’s files in a 
year when that theatre was doing its best work shows that Mon- 
tague’s enthusiastic team of writers could measure their love 
of theatre against work that ranged from the sentimentalism 
of Barrie to the stark misery of Strindberg, from the mass attack 
.of Elmer Rice to the exuberant individualism of Sean O’Casey. 

recall in particular a winter season that yielded in quick 
succession Susan Glaspell’s delicate and haunting play Alison’s 
House, Eugene O’NeiH’s psychological fantasy The Great God 
Brown, Elmer Rice’s expressionist adventure The Adding 
Machine, Shaw’s Major Barbara, and much else that showed the 
modem theatre in its wide variety of moods. 



THE GUARDIAN AND THE NEW DRAMA 139 

When Montague retired in 1925, and when Edward Scott, 
four years later, succeeded his father as editor, it seemed as 
though the courageous work of this oudying theatre might well 
be merely marking time for the founding of a centrally sited 
civic theatre that would put Manchester firmly back again in the 
place the Guardian had so notably helped to make for her 
as a principal home for the drama of ideas. The second World 
War deferred that hope, but in a city with Manchester’s 
traditions it can never be abandoned. 



MUSICAL CRITICISM 

By Granville Hill 

D uring the earliest years of the nineteenth century British 
music sank to such a low level that no newspaper writer 
of any importance could have been expected to take more than 
a passing glance at the subject. Yet the public was keenly 
interested in concerts as well as in performances of native ballad 
opera — that legacy from the previous century — and in a few 
towns fairly big choral societies and small instrumental ones 
were already established, queerly but firmly. Journalists, how- 
ever, seldom mentioned these institutions. The Manchester 
Guardian in its first year contains few references to musical 
events of any kind. Even when on October 20th, 1821, the cele- 
brated soprano Catherine Stephens sang in Manchester in 
Bickcrstaff’s opera Love in a Wood, no notice followed 
in the paper. (That singer was the Miss Stephens to whose 
powers Hazlitt in one of his essays paid a glowing tribute after 
I hearing her in Bickerstaff’s work.) There are some half-dozen 
lines of warm praise for Franz Liszt when as a child he visited 
Manchester in 1824. His wonderful gift for improvisation is 
specially noted. But Master Liszt, when thirteen years old, was 
probably considered to be stricken in years when compared with 
the concert promoter’s other prodigy — the “ Infant Lyra ”, a 
girl harpist aged three years and nine months. In those days the 
demand for musical prodigies was strong and steady. Sixteen 
years later Liszt again visited Manchester — this time in his full 
brilliancy as the most famous pianist in Europe— yet his two 
recitals, though mentioned by the paper as being by far the 
most important occurrences in the city’s musical history, drew 
only a short paragraph — a highly eulogistic one, of course — the 
reason for such brevity being the rather strange one that “ we 

140 



MUSICAL CRITICISM 


I 4 I 

have neither time nor space for more than a few words about this 
distinguished event.” 

It was the music of the Manchester Festivals of 1828 and 1836 
that stirred the paper to its first lengthy and detailed criticism 
of concert performances. The writers were obviously amateurs 
and perhaps had no deep knowledge of musical technique, but 
on the whole they showed fine taste and often a judgment that 
for its time was surprisingly advanced and independent. Great 
singers who had probably considered themselves as lifted high 
above all criticism were reminded that they were not always free 
from serious faults. The splendid singing of Braham when at 
his best is praised enthusiastically, but he was sometimes far from 
his best and the critic has a roguish little way of ending an adverse 
account with a dubious compliment that probes the wound. 
Referring to Braham’s treatment of the tenor solos in the festival 
performance of Handel’s Messiah the writer says: 

In “ The voice of him that cried ” he again gave himself up 
to his besetting sin; he bawled in a most ruthless manner, and his 
voice when at its full stretch was miserably out of tunc. “ Ev’ry 
Valley ” was not sung very well in tune any more than the recita- 
tive itself — but with all its defects was a great treat to the lovers 
of Handel. 

The same writer has the courage to protest against the absurd 
forms of cadenza that were still favoured by singers: 

In both his cadences in the air “ Waft her Angels” Braham 
introduced passages so inappropriate and so trashy in themselves 
t as to revolt the feelings. . . . The shade of Handel forbid that we 
should ever be so horrified again! 

There is surely a touch of sarcasm in the remark about the 
orchestra’s playing of a Beethoven symphony: 

In the first chords there was a little wavering; a circumstance 
not to be wondered at when it is considered that die symphony had 
never been rehearsed. 

But this critic found most of the playing during the festivals 
extremely fine both in execution and expression. Here and there 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


142 

his eulogies include words which, employed in their strict and 
original sense, now look rather quaint — as when he says: 

Mme, Catalani sang Luther’s Hymn, and Mr. Harper’s trumpet 
obbligato lent additional grandeur, which nothing could well 
exceed. The effect was overpowering; it was awful. 

It is evident that the two festivals had widened the Manchester 
public’s musical horizon and that the city, though still cut off 
from the main stream of European music, was ready for a more 
adventurous artistic policy than had hitherto prevailed. Pro- 
gressive influences triumphed when in 1847 Mendelssohn was 
invited there to conduct his oratorio “ Elijah ”, the new work 
which had been produced the previous year at the Birmingham 
Festival. Judging from the Guardian’s notice the Manchester 
performance was in the main successful, though the writer is 
careful to point out that the composer’s method of marking 
the expression rather than the tempo “ must be slightly embar- 
rassing to an orchestra at first ”. One or two slips resulted from 
occasional misunderstanding of this novel method. The art of 
conducting as distinct from mere “ time beating ” was then in 
its infancy. 

The year after Mendelssohn’s visit Chopin came to play in a 
Manchester concert. The famous Polish musician was weakened 
by illness — death was not far away — yet in a discriminating 
notice the Guardian critic wrote of the extraordinary subtleties 
of tone and feeling which probably set Chopin’s playing of 
romantic music still far above that of all other pianists then 
known. 

As time went on music-making grew to be a stronger and more 
consistent feature of Manchester’s activities. Charles Halil and 
his orchestra settled there in 1858, the city becoming one of the 
most prominent musical centres in England. From the fifties to 
the eighties of last century criticism in the Manchester Guardian 
was very modest in expression but thoughtful and assured, and 
while rejoicing over many recent improvements in musical per- 
formance the writers occasionally showed that they were by no 
means complacent about the general feebleness of our native 



MUSICAL CRITICISM 


M 3 

art of composition. There was, however, one British composer 
who came in for high praise, and the critic, writing on a Halid 
concert in 1886, admitted that he preferred Sterndale Bennett’s 
Water Nymphs Overture to Wagner’s Meister singer Overture. 
Evidently the approach to Wagner’s later works was still 
found difficult. In the eighties and a little while afterwards 
George Fremantle, a well-known business man and a cultured 
musical amateur, was writing the Guardian's music notices. 
His style was vigorous and he was able to draw on an unusually 
large experience of musical conditions in this country and 
abroad. He was among the first people to recognise that Parry 
and Stanford were bringing back to British musical composition 
the vital qualities which had surrendered to Handel and later 
to Mendelssohn. The only pity was that Fremande inherited a 
rather deep-rooted prejudice against one or two of the more 
modern composers who were also bringing to the concert world 
a much needed freshness of outlook. He rarely had a good 
word for Liszt. He apparendy refused to admit that even if 
Liszt’s music itself could not be acquitted of certain banalities 
its vividness and its imaginative power would have a beneficial 
influence on our native styles of composition and performance. 

It was Arthur Johnstone, Fremande’s successor on the paper, 
who led the way to a more generous view of music’s new 
aspects. Johnstone was a professional writer on music and soon 
after his coming in 1896 to Manchester, it became clear that a 
very searching kind of criticism, aesthetic and technical, was 
being applied to the city’s concerts. Johnstone’s knowledge was 
comprehensive, and his ability in analysing orchestral scores and 
in drawing attention to their finest features was shown in his 
reviews of new works. He prepared the way in Manchester for 
Elgar and Richard Strauss. He was, too, an early advocate of 
the few eminent conductors who specialised in their art as against 
the musicians who merely included conducting among their 
other duties; thus his firm support of Hans Richter, whose 
appointment as director of the Halid Orchestra was not 
unopposed. The force of Johnstone’s writing gained him wide 
influence; yet, after his death in 1905, the Manchester public 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


144 

might have settled again into a comfortable tolerance of 
^ dowdiness in its music-making had not that brilliant disturber 
of the peace, Ernest Newman, arrived and preached rebellion 
against acceptance of any but the highest and most vital 
artistic principles. Newman was already in the front rank of 
living writers on music. His profundity of thought was as 
remarkable as his wit and the vivacity of his literary style. In 
his contributions to the Manchester Guardian he upheld certain 
standards of performance so uncompromisingly and wrote so 
frankly about people who failed to reach those standards that his 
notices sometimes caused strong resentment among concert- 
givers. Yet though Newman often hit hard he praised with the 
utmost fullness and generosity that which was fine in achieve- 
ment or even in attempt, and the city’s music profited in no small 
degree from his short stay before he left in 1906 to take up 
appointments in Birmingham. 

The post vacated was filled by Samuel Langford, a Manchester 
man. It can truly be said that if ever a critic won not only 
respect but affection Langford did so. His literary and musical 
culture was acquired in a haphazard way, but it went deep and 
^ranged far. Easy-going, not to say careless, though he appeared 
to be in his daily life, he had a capacity for hard and continuous 
mental work which amazed the people who did not know him 
well. And nobody who did not know him well could guess at 
the liveliness of his conversation, for though his writing reflected 
the mellow wisdom and the broad humanity of his nature, it 
disclosed little of his humour or of the epigrammatic wit that 
often sparkled in his talk. His writing showed how eagerly and 
with what depth of insight his mind ranged over a vast field of 
musical art and how cleverly he related music to his general 
philosophy of life. It was richly rewarding to read Langford, 
for he seldom foiled to quicken the imagination by the ever- 
widening visions of beauty that music opened to him. His 
criticism of performances was penetrating, but even when he 
was displeased the wording of his notices was not ungentle. He 
died in 192 7, and Neville Cardus became the music critic of the 
Guardian. 




HERBERT SIDEBOTH AM, 1872-1940 





E. T. SCOTT, 1883-1932 

Editor of the “ Manchester Guardian ” 1929-32 
From the drawing by Francis Dodd , R.A. 


MUSICAL CRITICISM 


*45 

Perhaps no other expert on musical subjects has written with 
such beauty of literary expression as Cardus has. He held that 
criticism of music should afford the reader as much aesthetic 
pleasure and as much intellectual interest as we find in the best 
literature on the other arts, and he proved that the high level of 
attainment implied was reached in his own writing. His diction 
and imagery were superb and always appropriate to the matter 
in hand. He was not one of those writers who, as Coleridge 
said of a brother poet, “ spread out domes of thought over in- 
sufficient supports of fact.” Cardus got his facts and made sure 
of his foundations. In his articles for the paper he revealed the 
individuality of mind that made his judgment authoritative, 
though it might be entirely opposed to the views commonly held 
by other critics and by performers. He was suspicious, for 
instance, of the almost unanimous and surprisingly sudden 
“ movement ” away from Richard Strauss and of an equally 
sudden “ movement ” towards Sibelius. Whether they agreed 
or disagreed with his opinions we imagine that few readers could 
resist the fascination of Cardus’s unique literary craft or could 
object if at times the literary mind seemed to sway unduly the 
purely musical thinking. 

Several other famous writers on music have added lustre to the 
columns of the Manchester Guardian. Ferrucio Bonavia, 
formerly in Manchester, and Cecil Gray, Eric Blom and Dr. 
McNaught, successively the paper’s musical correspondents in 
London, have given further evidence of the splendid scholarship 
and the masterly gifts for criticism that had long ago placed 
these writers among the high priests of their art. 


K 



SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE 

By A. P. Wadsworth 


T hough Scott expressed himself mainly through the 
leader columns, the paper’s influence was exerted hardly 
less through its special correspondence, home and foreign. No 
part of the Guardian gave it greater distinction. The secret of it 
was the freedom given to the writer. To send a man out to a 
foreign country, to Ireland, or to the British coalfields with a 
free hand to describe what he saw and leisure to write carefully 
and well might sometimes produce slightly academic results, 
but it was a policy that gave a man great encouragement to do 
his best. Scott was rarely disappointed in his choice of men. 
Thos. Vaughan Nash was sent to India in 1900 and J. T. 
Gwynn a quarter of a century later; L. S. Amery covered the 
Balkans in the ’nineties; Spenser Wilkinson, C. E. Montague, 
J. M. Synge, and later G. E. Leach and Ivor Brown, described 
Irish conditions; G. Lowes Dickinson wrote on his Far Eastern 
tour; T. M. Young investigated the American cotton industry; 
Arthur Ransome and Morgan Philips Price followed the Bol- 
shevik Revolution. The list is endless and the books made out 
of those commissions fill a large shelf. Scott was always ready 
(often to the sub-editors’ distress) to throw open his columns 
to a series of serious informative articles, applying only the test 
that they should be well written and liberal and should add to 
knowledge. The Guardian’s ordinary news service might be 
no better than that of most papers; its special service of what is 
now called “ background ” news had qualities quite its own. 
In the same way Scott chose his war correspondents and corre- 
spondents for great occasions. One has only to mention, for 
instance, J. B. Atkins and H. N. Brailsford in the wars of the 
’nineties; H. W. Nevinson in many fields, warlike and pacific; 
and J. L. Hammond at the Paris Peace Conference. 

The regular foreign correspondents of the paper— men like 

14 6 



SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE 


J 47 

J. G. Hamilton and Robert Dell (and later Alexander Werth) in 
Paris; Cecil Sprigge in Rome; F. A. Voigt in Berlin — and the 
humblest reporters on home jobs had the same freedom. Scott 
never attempted to dictate what they should say, to provide them 
with “ angles ” or fetter and bewilder them with instructions. 
An intemperate word here and there might be softened, a ver- 
bosity pruned, but their messages usually appeared intact. No 
journalist can ask fairer than that. The Guardian correspondent 
or reporter was often envied by his colleagues in the field, because 
he at least was pretty certain of seeing his stuff in print without 
distortion or manipulation or heavy cutting. There was no sup- 
pression, however disturbing the facts. No daily paper, perhaps, 
ever gave greater freedom to the individual play of the minds of 
its staff or permitted them more idiosyncrasy in the handling of 
their material; it is a precious tradition which the Guardian has 
always valued. It implied trust in a man to do his work honesdy. 
It compensated — if these things matter — for the preservation of 
anonymity; it led to equality because there were no “ by-lines ” 
for the “ stars ”; it strengthened the corporate spirit of the team. 
By some modern standards of sub-editing (with its “ re-write ” 
men) the technique might seem old-fashioned. It is almost a 
journalistic axiom, the cynical might say, that the bright news- 
editor or sub-editor in his chair knows better what happened and 
how it should be described than the reporter on the job; but it 
had not reached the Guardian in Scott’s day, nor has it since. 
The Guardian under Scott was therefore fortunate in its re- 
porters; to mention E. W. Record, Francis Perrot, William 
Haslam Mills, George E. Leach, Harry Boardman, Howard 
Spring, A. V. Cookman, is to leave out as many again who were 
trained in Scott’s school. 



PICTURES AND FEATURES 

By M. A. Linford and M. Crozier 

F orty years ago there were virtually no illustrations in serious 
newspapers. Photographs were regarded as frivolous — a 
moral attitude usefully bolstered by the rawness of the new pro- 
cess of half-tone reproduction — and the few pictures admitted 
to mark special occasions were line drawings composed in 
dignity and leisure. The supplement published by the Man- 
chester Guardian on the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 
contained thirty drawings, most of them large. Four years later 
a half-tone block appeared at rare intervals, but for the obituary 
supplement of Edward VII in 1910 it was evidendy felt that the 
camera was not quite good enough, and again drawings pro- 
vided the only illustrations. In the body of the paper containing 
the supplement are photographs of the new King and Queen, 
i stretching across five columns’ width and handsomely printed. 
J From that time onwards half-tone pictures were used nearly 
every day, though the work of such artists Hedley Fitton, Henry 
Lamb, F. L. Emanuel, J. B. Yeats and William Rothenstein 
were still the chief pride of the paper. In recent years Sir Muir- 
head Bone’s beautiful drawings have carried on this tradition. 

By the beginning of the Great War the paper had its own 
staff photographer and the recently-formed agencies maintained 
a flow of pictures from places touched by the news. On August 
3rd, 1914, the principal illustration showed Manchester, undis- 
turbed by the international outlook, thronging the Blackpool 
platform at Victoria Station. The next day brought a more 
awakened crowd in Whitehall, and Keir Hardie addressing a 
peace meeting in Trafalgar Square. By the end of the month 
there was a group of pictures taken on a cross-Channel boat, with 
the wounded from Mons being succoured by women wearing 
ankle-length skirts and, surprisingly, solar topees. 

148 



PICTURES AND FEATURES 


M9 

During those early years of the half-tone process, size was 
apparently more or less synonymous with quality. The files of 
the paper between the accession of King George V and the 
clamping-down on space in 1916, show almost every illustration 
cast in a heroic mould — a gallery of Titans. Photographs may 
have been admitted unwillingly and with doubts as to their 
seemliness in responsible journalism, but at least they were boldly 
displayed when they got there. 

In the last few years of his life, C. P. Scott’s interest in pictures 
was sharpened by the fear that they might trip up the dignity 
of the paper. Their news value did not, in his mind, justify any 
deviation from traditional rules of taste and decorum. He liked 
country scenes, well-ordered processions or parades and, 
curiously, racing. A photograph of the Derby was submitted to 
him with the suggestion that perhaps he might not want it 
published. “ Of course I want it,” he said, “ it’s not the racing 
I dislike; it’s the betting.” Pictures of disasters never pleased 
him and for a long time he refused to sanction any illustration 
of railway accidents. Later he yielded, but he preferred the 
photographs to be so “ cut ” that very little wreckage and no 
victims were left in sight. A few years before his death all 
hunting scenes were banned, in sympathy with the paper’s 
opposition to blood sports. In profound contrast with modern 
popular journalism, Scott expected a high standard of worth 
and achievement from those whose personal portraits were 
admitted. A man might be both dead and famous, but 
unless his fame was unspotted by sensationalism his obituary 
notice did not include a photograph. To “ get into the news ” 
was a long way from getting into the Manchester Guardian 
illustrations. Over a photograph of the infant Princess 
Elizabeth being driven in a car with her nurse, he pondered for 
some time. The Princess was certainly admissible, but he knew 
nothing about the nurse, and it seemed too much prominence 
for a woman who had made no mark on his consciousness. A 
few hastily remembered facts about the nurse’s long service with 
the Bowes-Lyon family were laid before him, together with the 
impossibility of blotting her out of the picture and leaving her 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


150 

charge unblemished, and he finally agreed that a modestly-sized 
reproduction should be given. Among his pictorial interests 
were cricket, golf, lawn tennis and University athletics, but foot- 
ball matches he thought looked ugly. 

Under the editorship of W. P. Crozier the illustrations side 
was widely expanded. Crozier had his own prejudices — 
including a fondness for architecture and archaeology and a 
dislike of performing animals in circuses — but apart from these 
he liked to have as many pictures as space would allow. He 
regarded them as embellishments to news pages and broadened 
their scope to cover nearly every part of the paper. Only the 
Leader Page was left without its illustration, for pictures of 
unusual importance occasionally appeared on the page opposite 
— an innovation rather painfully revolutionary to diehards both 
within the office and outside it — and single-column portraits 
were used to brighten the uncompromising stretches of company k 
meeting reports. 

A great part of the modern newspaper consists of “features ” 
— miscellaneous reading, grave and gay. It has always been so, 
though a century ago the scissors and paste were most in evidence 
and newspapers unashamedly borrowed from each other (and 
from the reviews and magazines). The Guardian of Scott’s early 
years had not developed many regular “ features ”, but they 
began to appear in the ’eighties. James Long’s “ Farm Notes ” 
ran for many years. “ Cycling Notes ” came with the craze in the 
’nineties and reached as much as two and a half columns, to be 
followed later by a column on “ Automobiles ”. But where the 
Guardian showed most growth was in literary “ features ” which 
came in a flood with the turn of the century. The “ backpager ” 
—in the first column of the back page— began irregularly as a 
general article, an art notice, or a long review; it was slow to 
evolve into its present form of a sketch or short story. It 
attracted many well-known literary names; Synge and Mr. 
Dooley belong to the early years. “ Miscellany ” came un- 
heralded on October 16, 1903. (Its first title was “A Miscellany”, 
but Scott struck out the article.) It began as a pretty solid, 



PICTURES AND FEATURES 


151 

informative column without a touch of the personality that 
later editors, like “ Lucio ” (Gordon Phillips), have given it. 
John Masefield had a hand in its early stages. “ A Country 
Diary ” began in the spring of 1904; T. A. Coward and Mrs. 
H. M. Swanwick were among its earlier pillars. The Churches, 
Established and Free, have long had their weekly column. For 
the first “ Quartus ” Canon Hicks (later Bishop of Lincoln) 
was succeeded by Canon Peter Green in 1912; for Noncon- 
formity Dr. George Jackson wrote for many years until his 
recent death. The most famous of all the regular contributors 
was perhaps George W. E. Russell with his Saturday article; 
between 1898 and 1910 nine books by “ The Author of ‘ Collec- 
tions and Recollections ’ ” were made up wholly or in part from 
these essays. Arthur Ransome, Arthur Ponsonby and Ivor 
Brown were among his successors. 

Before Scott died the Guardian had added in 1929 a 
daily crossword puzzle and a weekly competition, and other 
“ features ” were soon to come. 



THE SPORTS PAGE 

By H. D. Nichols 


T he history of the sports side of the paper scarcely begins 
in its first fifty years; it is a story of modern developments, 
many of them dating from no earlier than the end of the Kaiser’s 
war, and few of them from earlier than the ’nineties of the last 
century. This was not in any way peculiar to the Manchester 
Guardian , for the idea of the news interest of organised games 
is surprisingly modern. When C. P. Scott came to Manchester 
the idea that a daily paper should make a regular feature of 
reports even of cricket and football was unknown. Racing, and 
particularly the news of the racing “ market ”, had secured a 
firm foothold — which it was afterwards to lose — but in no other 
sense was sporting journalism recognised. 

Cricket had broken into the news just before the middle of the 
century when the famous All-England touring eleven was 
popularising the game in Lancashire and Yorkshire as well as 
elsewhere. Its matches against enlarged local teams were well 
reported, and they left behind them a new interest in cricket 
news. But the systematic reporting of the game was still well in 
the future. In the ’seventies cricket would be represented by an 
occasional paragraph and the score sheet of a representative 
match — say North v. South, with the usual big score by “ W.G.” 
(who must have been hard to keep out of the news) , and by two 
or three inches, on a Monday, of local club games. By the early 
’eighties the more important county matches had staked a claim 
on space and were getting score sheets with a summary para- 
graph; and by now the clubs around Manchester were getting 
two or three columns of detailed scores — a feature which had 
come to stay and was steadily improved. Before the end of the 
century the Lancashire matches were commanding full-column 
treatment and there was already evidence that a new editorial 
interest was being taken in the treatment of at least one branch 

* 5 * 



THE SPORTS PAGE 


153 

of sport. It was being recognised that the literary standards of 
the rest of the paper were not out of place in the sports columns. 
By the turn of the century Monday’s paper was producing an 
organised Sports Page, starting with a long comprehensive 
article, “ The Cricket Field ” — or, in winter, “ The Football 
Field ”. The steady improvement kept up for the next fourteen 
years must have meant an uphill battle in the office, for the 
organisation of the handling of sport lagged sadly behind the 
needs. It was to be almost a generation before a Sports Editor was 
recognised, and for years the one solitary sports “sub” was only 
loosely detached from the general work of the sub-editors’ room. 
The presentable cricket page for which the paper was noted in 
the years before the first world war was largely the creation of 
F. E. Hamer, who graduated to the sports room in this way. 
In the years between the wars, when the sports department was 
put on an altogether new footing, first under A. L. Lee and then 
with the addition of E. A. Montague as the first sports editor, 
the first-class cricket reports were to become its special pride. For 
with the revival of the game in 1919 a young reporter whose role 
on the paper was undetermined and his future unsuspected, was 
rather casually sent to cover a county match. Within a week 
Neville Cardus had found his place on the paper, and before the 
next season was out its “ Cricketer ” had won appreciation 
throughout the cricket world. 

It seems to be in the tradition of most newspaper offices that 
when football began to get into print no one should have been 
responsible for ordering it. It came in well ahead of any plans 
for its reception, and in the Guardian as elsewhere it probably 
got most of its “ subbing ” in the composing room. By 1880 
something like two columns of local reports were getting into 
the Monday paper, mosdy of rugby matches with a few para- 
graphs of “soccer” and already an occasional reference to 
Lacrosse. In another ten years football must have been putting 
great pressure on its unspecialised sub-editors, but though there 
were now football notes as well as the reports the page was little 
organised and it must have taken a keen reader to find his way 
through the jumble. There was a gradual improvement in make- 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


154 

up towards the end of the century. A “ Football Field ” special 
and notes on the chief local matches were now clearly being 
done from the office, but probably as a week-end sideline by 
members of the staff who were better regarded for their more 
solid activities during the rest of the week. 

The methodical development of the sports pages from 1919 
onwards owed everything to the news-editorship of W. P. 
Crozier. Though C. P. Scott had been a fine oar at Oxford and 
played tennis till well past 70, he had taken little interest in sport 
as news. Crozier added to his own interest in sport (particularly 
both forms of football) a complete understanding of its news 
interest to the majority of readers. It was his influence that 
began to give the sports page new system and coherence. The 
effect of Cardus’s articles came as a powerful reinforcement to 
the suggestion that more use might be made of special correspon- 
dents both on the staff and from outside it. This gradually 
affected the treatment of all forms of sport, and almost for the 
first time football began to be treated as a subject which might 
be written of with something more than mere technical com- 
petence. The sports special began to take the place of the casual 
contribution, and an interest in the popularities of League foot- 
ball and of the professional rugby game found a new place in 
columns hitherto dominated by amateur “ rugger ”. 

The new policy had been anticipated, twenty years before its 
time, in the case of golf The paper had always been strong on 
golf from the time when the game first began to be reported. 
It had perhaps a special appeal to the suburban circulation. Even 
in the ’nineties, when Vardon, Braid and Taylor dominated the 
game, with two or three amateurs of almost equal fame, space 
was found for full-column reports of the championships. Early 
in the new century A. N. Monkhouse, who was to be better 
known later for his share in the paper’s literary and dramatic 
criticism, began to write regular golf notes with a special appeal 
to the northern amateur, and they remained a leading sports 
feature until the first world war. About the same tim e more 
attention was being paid to such local tournaments as the 
Balfour and Houldsworth cup competitions. From 1919, with 



THE SPORTS PAGE 


155 

the general development of the idea of special correspondence on 
national sporting events, all the championships were specially 
covered. A. L. Lee, under whom the sports sub-editing had at 
last become fully specialised, was an all-round athlete as well as 
an experienced reporter, and his sound knowledge of golf found 
scope in a long series of such special reports. 

Lawn tennis from quite early days was covered by men well- 
known in the game, including Liddell Hart (better known as 
a military writer) and Wallis Myers, and from after the first 
war it had its regular specialist allotted, the tennis reports be- 
coming a more regular and permanent feature of the paper. 
With C. P. Scott’s arrival the paper had begun to take a new 
interest in rowing, particularly University rowing, which was 
usually entrusted to an old Oxford Blue. Athletics were slower 
than most sports to get into the news columns, but a slow start 
was more than compensated for in the ’twenties when first 
F. A. M. Webster and then E. A. Montague became responsible 
for them. An earlier specialism of the Guardian’s , arising from 
the peculiar local popularity of the game, had been Lacrosse, on 
which Norman Melland, one of the game’s greatest players, used 
to write. 

Most of the new departures of the ’twenties were piecemeal 
and the foil organisation of the sports page, under a sports editor 
with an assistant, was still to come. The fruits of attention to 
good make-up and adequate planning ahead were to be seen in 
the sports pages of the last few years before the second world war. 
It was again the result of the continuing influence of W. P. 
Crozicr, whose plans for the department were realised when 
E. T. Scott appointed E. A. Montague to take charge of it. The 
immediate changes were not a matter of innovation so much 
as organisation, the filling up of gaps and the systematisation of 
make-up. New specialist correspondents were added to the roll 
and many gaps were filled, new attention being paid to pro- 
fessional rugby, to local hockey and probably in all to a greater 
variety of sports than were then being covered by any other but 
the purely sporting papers. And all with the proviso that, what- 
ever was written about, there should be as much attention paid to 



156 THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 

the writing as on any other side of the paper. A post-war genera- 
tion may look back enviously on the generous allotment of space 
then given to sport but will recognise the artistry which went to 
its arrangement. The contrast with earlier years was all in favour 
of the reader whatever his limited sporting interests might be. 
The sports pages of the Guardian in the ’thirties arc likely to 
remain a model to which many references will be made when 
the reporting of sport is again able to command such advantages. 



1825 

ADVERTISING THE “ THEATRE OF ARTS 



COMMERCE AND FINANCE 

By R. H. Fry 


M anchester, in 1821, was inspired by cotton. It was a 
trade to open the eye and broaden the mind. Its raw 
material came from across the sea and its products were sold in 
every continent. As the business expanded, the interests of the 
Manchester business community outgrew their local bonds and 
became identified with world-wide trading principles: free trade 
and rising standards of life. If in the early decades the com- 
mercial section of the Guardian was principally the organ and 
the market guide of the cotton industry, that function covered 
an amazingly wide range of subjects. Even in its first issue 
the paper carried, next to reports of produce and share markets, 
an article on “ Money Prices ” which explained learnedly “ the 
great difference in the value of money in different nations By 
the middle of the century the cotton trade was spreading its 
attention from one end of the faculty of economics to the other. 
It was raising capital on the Stock Exchanges (London and 
local). It was using the acceptance credit of Lombard Street 
to finance its customers and the advances of the joint-stock banks 
to finance its stocks. It was using the freight markets of Liver- 
pool and the Baltic and the marine insurance of Lloyds. It must 
be told by the fastest means existing that rain had fallen in 
Carolina or that the Nile had risen in flood, for cotton prices 
move with the growing crops. From New York and New 
Orleans, from Alexandria and Bombay news must be obtained 
to show how prices and commodity stocks were moving. The 
Budgets, tariffs, and political trends of every country affected the 
prospect of exports. The successful cotton merchant or manu- 
facturer must, in fret, be master of the whole complicated 
machinery of international trade and finance which was taking 
shape during the second half of the last century. The Guardian 

*57 



THE GUARDIAN UNDER SCOTT 


158 

served his needs with news, comment and advice. No other 
industry demanded such a wide-ranging service; no other news- 
paper provided it. 

In presenting to the cotton trade every day a composite picture 
of the world’s markets the paper came to present in turn the 
cotton trade to the outside world. As a chronicle of events and 
views in the industry, the commercial pages were read by business 
people all over Britain and abroad who could have kept them- 
selves informed in no other way except by going to Manchester 
in person. Many other interests were added to cotton as time 
went on. Steel and engineering had established themselves early 
in Lancashire to serve the cotton mills. Shipping and shipbuild- 
ing were at home close by on Merseyside. Synthetic dyestuffs 
brought the chemical industry prominendy to the north-west. 
The great industrial population which had settled in the area 
developed new needs, and new trades arose to supply them. The 
Guardian watched and chronicled the changes as they occurred. 
With the growth of investment in public companies a new 
element was added to the section. Stock Exchange reports and 
prices began to occupy several columns in the ’forties, though 
for some time they were mainly concerned with the Funds, 
cotton shares and railway stocks, and prominence was given to 
the provincial exchanges. By 1880, almost half of the eight and 
a half columns of commercial matter was taken up by messages 
from London, including a foil stock exchange report with “ prices 
after business hours ”. Ten years later the commercial section had 
fourteen and a half columns, of which the Stock Exchange took 
nearly six and American markets (cotton, stocks, produce) 
almost three. Prosperity was spilling over; the British people 
were saving furiously and searching the earth for paying pro- 
positions to invest in. Moreover, the country’s population was 
rapidly increasing, and to supply it with enough food and raw 
materials, “ new ” countries overseas had to be opened up and 
developed. The Guardian, in the early days of this century, 
reflects this constant widening of interests. By 1910 the 
commercial pages had grown to twenty-two columns, besides 
advertisements. Manchester was still the heart of a great export 



COMMERCE AND FINANCE 


159 

and import trade, but London had become the hub of a world- 
wide financial mechanism on which Britain’s prosperity de- 
pended. 

The pull of London became irresistible after the 1914-18 war 
A “ Financial Editor ” was appointed to report and interpret the 
activities of “the City On April 1st, 1920, Oscar Hobson 
began to wire from the new City Office a running commentary 
on financial affairs, which was soon read and quoted all over 
the world. 

The period of C. P. Scott’s editorship thus witnessed a great 
enlargement of the scope and content of the “ City ” pages. The 
detailed market reports and news of the seventies had broadened 
out into a section of the paper which, hardly less than the leader 
pages, included comment on and interpretation of the whole 
field of economic progress. Trade and finance had become an 
aspect of politics or of international affairs, and a newspaper’s 
task in explaining them to the non-technical reader had become 
infinitely more complex. With the mixture of public and private 
enterprise we seem now to have ahead of us, it is a task that is 
at once more difficult and more vital to the national health. 



5 

SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

C, P. Scott wrote hardly anything under his own name or outside 
the columns of his paper . Almost all his wor\ is buried in newspaper 
files; and leading articles, like political speeches, rarely survive their 
hour . The controversies on which Scott wrote, the political situations 
in which he gave guidance, are already half forgotten. It may be 
fitting, however, in illustration of Scott's style and habit of thought, 
to select a few of his articles on some subjects that have not wholly 
lost their interest. 


ON JOURNALISM 

THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN'S FIRST 
HUNDRED YEARS 

(May 5th, 1921) 

A h undr ed years is a long time; it is a long time even 
in the life of a newspaper, and to look back on it is to 
take in not only a vast development in the thing itself, but 
•1 a great slice in the life of the nation, in the progress and adjust- 
ment of the world. In the general development the newspaper, 
as an institution, has played its part, and no small part, and the 
particular newspaper with which I personally am concerned has 
also played its part, it is to be hoped, not without some usefulness. 

I have had my share in it for a little more than fifty years; I have 
been its responsible editor for only a few months short of its last 
half century; I remember vividly its fiftieth birthday; I now have 
the happiness to share in the celebration of its hundredth. I can 
therefore speak of it with a certain intimacy of acquaintance. I 
have myself been part of it and entered into its inner courts. ' 

l6o 




W. P. CROZIER, 1879-1944 
Editor of the " Manchester Guardian ” 1932-1944 





THE SCOTT TRUST 
July 2 ()th, 1946 

Paul Patterson, of the “ Baltimore Son ”, handing over the i rust 

DEED WHICH WAS KELT FOR SAFETY IN AMERICA DURING THE WAR 

Left to right : A. P. Wadsworth , editor of the “ Manchester Guardian ; ; 
Sir William Haley, a trustee; L.P. Scott, assistant managing director; Paul 
Patterson; /. R. Scott, chairman of the Scott Trust; fames Bone, director; 
and /. C. Beavan, editor of the “ Manchester Evening News” 



ON JOURNALISM 161 

That is perhaps a reason why, on this occasion, I should write in 
my own name, as in some sort a spectator, rather than in the 
name of the paper as a member of its working staff. 

In all living things there must be a certain unity, a principle 
of vitality and growth. It is so with a newspaper, and the more 
complete and clear this unity the more vigorous and fruitful the 
growth. I ask myself what the paper stood for when first I knew 
it, what it has stood for since and stands for now. A newspaper 
has two sides to it. It is a business, like any other, and has to pay 
in the material sense in order to live. But it is much more than a 
business; it is an institution; it reflects and it influences the life 
of a whole community; it may affect even wider destinies. It is, 
in its way, an instrument of government. It plays on the minds 
and consciences of men. It may educate, stimulate, assist, or it 
may do the opposite. It has, therefore, a moral as well as a 
material existence, and its character and influence are in the 
main determined by the balance of these two forces. It may 
make profit or power its first object, or it may conceive itself 
as fulfilling a higher and more exacting function. 

I think I may honestly say that, from the day of its foundation, 
there has not been much doubt as to which way the balance 
''tipped so far as regards the conduct of the paper whose fine tradi- 
tion I inherited and which I have had the honour to serve 
through all my working life. Had it not been so, personally, I 
could not have served it. Character is a subtle affair, and has 
many shades and sides to it. It is not a thing to be much talked 
about, but rather to be felt. It is the slow deposit of past actions 
and ideals. It is for each man his most precious possession, and 
so it is for that latest growth of time the newspaper. Funda- 
mentally it implies honesty, cleanness, courage, fairness, a sense 
of duty to the reader and the community. A newspaper is of 
necessity something of a monopoly, and its first duty is to shun 
the temptations of monopoly. Its primary office is the gathering 
of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is 
not tainted. Neither in what it gives, nor in what it docs not 
give, nor in the mode of presentation must the unclouded face 
of truth suffer wrong. Comment is free, but facts are sacred. 

L 



162 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

“ Propaganda ”, so called, by this means is hateful. The voice 
of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard. 
Comment also is justly subject to a self-imposed restraint. It is 
well to be frank; it is even better to be fair. This is an ideal. 
Achievement in such matters is hardly given to man. Perhaps 
none of us can attain to it in the desirable measure. We can but 
try, ask pardon for shortcomings, and there leave the matter. 

But, granted a sufficiency of grace, to what further conquests 
may we look, what purpose serve, what task envisage? It is a 
large question, and cannot be fully answered. We are faced with 
a new and enormous power and a growing one. Whither is the 
young giant tending? What gifts does he bring? How will he 
exercise his privilege and powers? What influence will he 
exercise on the minds of men and on our public life? It cannot 
be pretended that an assured and entirely satisfactory answer can 
be given to such questions. Experience is in some respects dis- 
quieting. The development has not been all in the direction 
which we should most desire. One of the virtues, perhaps almost 
the chief virtue, of a newspaper is its independence. Whatever 
its position or character, at least it should have a soul of its own. 
But the tendency of newspapers, as of other businesses, in these 
days is towards amalgamation. In proportion, as the function 
of a newspaper has developed and its organisation expanded, so 
have its costs increased. The smaller newspapers have had a hard 
struggle; many of them have disappeared. In their place we 
have great organisations controlling a whole series of publica- 
tions of various kinds and even of differing or opposing politics. 
The process may be inevitable, but clearly there arc drawbacks. 
As organisation grows personality may tend to disappear. It is 
much to control one newspaper well; it is perhaps beyond the 
reach of any man, or any body of men, to control half a dozen 
with equal success. It is possible to exaggerate the danger, for 
the public is not undiscerning. It recognises the authentic voices 
of conscience and conviction when it finds them, and it has a 
shrewd intuition of what to accept and what to discount. 

This is a matter which in the end must settle itself, and those 
who cherish the older ideal of a newspaper need not be dismayed. 



ON JOURNALISM ^3 

They have only to make their papers good enough in order to 
win, as well as to merit, success, and the resources of a news- 
paper are not wholly measured in pounds, shillings and pence. 
Of course the thing can only be done by competence all round, 
and by that spirit of co-operation right through the working staff 
which only a common ideal can inspire. There are people who 
think you can run a newspaper about as easily as you can poke 
a fire, and that knowledge, training, and aptitude are superfluous 
endowments. There have even been experiments on this assump- 
tion, and they have not met with success. There must be compe- 
tence, to start with, on the business side, just as there must be in 
any large undertaking, but it is a mistake to suppose that the 
business side of a paper should dominate, as sometimes happens, 
not without distressing consequences. A newspaper, to be of 
value, should be a unity, and every part of it should equally 
understand and respond to the purposes and ideals which 
animate it. Between its two sides there should be a happy 
marriage, and editor and business manager should march hand 
in hand, the first, be it well understood, just an inch or two in 
advance. Of the staff much the same thing may be said. They 
should be a friendly company. They need not, of course, agree on 
every point, but they should share in the general purpose and in- 
heritance. A paper is built up upon their common and successive 
labours, and their work should never be task work, never merely 
dictated. They should be like a racing boat’s crew, pulling well 
together, each man doing his best because he likes it, and with a 
common and glorious goal. 

That is the path of self-respect and pleasure; it is also the path 
of success. And what a work it is! How multiform, how 
responsive to every need and every incident of life ! What illimit- 
able possibilities of achievement and of excellence! People talk 
of “ journalese ” as though a journalist were of necessity a pre- 
tentious and sloppy writer; he may be, on the contrary, and very 
often is, one of the best in the world. At least he should not be 
content to be much less. And then the developments. Every 
year, almost every day, may sec growth and fresh accomplish- 
ment, and with a paper that is really alive, it not only may, but 



164 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

docs. Let anyone take a file of this paper, or for that matter any 
one of half a dozen other papers, and compare its whole make-up 
and leading features to-day with what they were five years ago, 
ten years ago, twenty years ago, and he will realise how large has 
been the growth, how considerable the achievement. And this 
is what makes the work of a newspaper worthy and interesting. 
It has so many sides, it touches life at so many points, at every 
one there is such possibility of improvement and excellence. To 
the man, whatever his place on the paper, whether on the 
editorial or business, or even what may be regarded as the 
mechanical side — this also vitally important in its place — nothing 
should satisfy short of the best, and the best must always seem a 
little ahead of the actual. It is here that ability counts and that 
character counts, and it is on these that a newspaper, like every 
great undertaking, if it is to be worthy of its power and duty, 
must rely. 



THE FUNCTION OF THE PRESS 

( Political Quarterly , January-March, 1931) 

T he first function of a newspaper is indicated plainly in its 
name; it is an instrument for die collection and dissemina- 
tion of news. But what news? That is a material question. All 
sorts of things happen in the world every day and every hour of 
the day. It is all a question of selection, whether of the serious 
or the frivolous, of the clean or the unclean, of fact or of fiction. 
Some people like one sort and some another, and the newspaper 
can usually be found to respond to each demand. Here, in the 
favourite phrase of President Wilson, is the acid test of quality. 
It is a wonderful function and, with the progress of invention, 
has been carried far. It ministers to knowledge, to curiosity, to 
education ; in a real sense it makes the whole world one. To know 
is not always to value, and intimacy may breed repulsion, even 
hate. But, on the whole, it is not so, and knowledge not only 
opens the way to sympathy but mitigates instinctive dislike. For 
men are extraordinarily interesting and every society has its own 
character and its own attraction. Perhaps we do not sufficiently 
realise this. We study with ardour and minuteness the dead 
civilisations of Greece and Rome and we forget that India and 
China may have just as much to teach us which is a good deal 
nearer to hand. The newspaper cannot throw its net too wide.- 
Its folly is to affect omniscience, but its function is to supply all 
the material needful for those that know. 

It may go further; it may, and it ought so for as it is able to, 
supply some guidance in the maze of things, to act in some 
degree, not merely as purveyor, but also as interpreter. That, 
no doubt, is a delicate operation and lends itself all too easily to 
abuse. But there are cases in which nothing is so misleading as 
the bald feet. To be understood it must be seen in its whole con- 
nection, as part of a process, not merely as an incident. That is a 



i66 


SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


work of interpretation and makes all sorts of demands, not only 
on knowledge, but on the impartial temper. Nor does impar- 
tiality imply indifference; indifference is an atrophy of the 
sympathies, impartiality a poise of the mind. The first condition 
of a real understanding is perhaps a sympathetic approach. And 
how vital this all is history shows. The worst crimes which it 
records are perhaps the crimes of ignorance. War, modern war 
at least, is its child. We are past the stage of sheer aggression; we 
know too well that in war both sides lose; that there is no such 
thing as victor and vanquished, but that war is a defeat for both. 
In this sense all war is madness; its beginning and its end. To 
each side the other is the aggressor and, in fact, that is the truth. 
For to be the first to attack is a clear advantage, and when trouble 
is brewing, each side, knowing this, imputes the intention to the 
other and in that belief itself determines to be first. How easily 
this may happen was seen in a crucial and terrible instance that 
none can forget, yet the spirit of aggression for its own sake was, 
perhaps, equally absent from both sides. If only each had 
known, and in its heart believed, that this was so, how easy would 
understanding have been, how sure the road to safety. Here, 
surely, is the precious opportunity of all who can form, or in- 
fluence opinion. And yet how rarely it is folly used ? How often 
do not newspapers in their assumed vocation of watch-dogs for 
the nation, ready to bark at every footstep as though it must needs 
be that of an enemy, serve rather to scent danger where none is 
and to howl denunciation where, if they but knew, there is not 
the slightest need for alarm. Not that the error need be inten- 
tional. Nothing is easier than to persuade oneself that danger is 
in the air. Both sides may be equally to blame, and sheer ignor- 
ance is usually the vice of each. The mischief is easily done. There 
may be no actual perversion of the facts ; a judicious selection may 
equally suffice, and this apart from any real malice. That is 
why the sources of information are so important and the respon- 
sibility of the purveyors of news is so great. That of those who 
handle and display it is, perhaps, no less. For the important 
may be shown as unimportant, and the unimportant as 
important, by devices so simple and innocent as type, hea dline 



ON JOURNALISM iOj 

or position on the page. It is all a matter of discretion and 
good faith. 

Not that the task is easy. What, in fact, can be more difficult 
than really to enter into the mind of a man of another nation, 
still more to grasp the conditions which go to make him what he 
is — his education, the atmosphere of his home, the traditions of 
his people. Yet it is all these things which, when the test comes, 
go to determine his outlook and his action. It is for the Press, so 
far as it may, to act as interpreter, and one of its first duties is 
to qualify for the task. 

But, after all, men are not necessarily enemies because they 
are strangers to each other, though that is apt to be the assump- 
tion among primitive peoples, and nothing can be more foolish 
than to regard a neighbour primarily as a possible enemy. Every 
nation has something in race, in temperament, in history and 
development which marks it off from other nations and makes 
it rich in interest and instruction. And the further off nations 
may be from each other in these respects the more interesting 
they become and the more knowing. Sometimes where a very 
long development has taken place in complete, or almost com- 
plete isolation, a real understanding, a spiritual intimacy, 
becomes very difficult, or actually impossible. And this is a 
misfortune. It is the price we pay for the emergence of a type. 
And the type may be so strong that it must forever remain apart, 
self-sufficient, impenetrable. Such types exist. They have their 
special gifts for the world. But we do not love them. They do 
not invite love. Such differences may cut very deep, or they may 
be quite subtle. What is it that divides us from our own past, 
from the builders, say, of the Middle Age ? What is it they had 
which we have lost? And why, and at what point, did we lose 
it? It is in art and, above all, in architecture that the difference 
tells. Perhaps it is because beauty is so subdc a thing. Yet these 
men were bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh as we are of 
theirs. Differences in time, differences in space, each of these 
has gone to make up that wonderful complex which we call 
humanity. The newspaper has at times to adjust itself to both. 
It must overleap all barriers. It cannot possess omniscience and 



168 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

need not pretend to it. But its interests should be as wide as the 
field that invites them, and it need not be without allies, or scorn 
the expert, though it may be wise to observe him carefully. 

The newspaper is a vast machine. What matters is the spirit 
that lies behind it. The world is its province, but that is an empty 
boast unless it implies a real fellowship. Europe already begins 
to think and speak of itself as a unity. America was born one. 
India, but yesterday an aggregate of disparate peoples, to-day is 
finding its soul. The world does move, and every day it moves 
faster. The newspaper stands by to interpret and, where it can, 
help. What a spectacle ! What an opportunity ! 



AN INDEPENDENT PRESS 

(April 5th, 1928) 


A free and independent Press, a Press, that is, which is free 
to say what it chooses, subject only to the restraints of 
decency and the law of libel, and which at the same time is repre- 
sentative of the full variety of opinion and of interest throughout 
the country, has come to be an indispensable instrument of 
popular education and of popular government. How far does 
the increasing concentration of newspaper ownership in a few 
hands tend to weaken or destroy this instrument, and thus to 
impair the security we at present possess for the free play of 
public opinion and the wise control of public affairs? A per- 
feedy simple answer cannot, perhaps, be given. The newspaper 
as we know it to-day serves a variety of purposes. It is primarily 
and before all else a mechanism for the collection and distribu- 
tions of news, and in this capacity its duty is to suppress nothing 
that matters and to corrupt nothing. Coloured or doctored news 
may be more misleading than no news at all. On the other hand, 
the suppression of news in whole or in part may amount no less 
to a fraud upon the reader. Apart from its function as a vehicle 
of news the Press as a whole is regarded, and as a rule rightly 
regarded, as an index of the opinion which it seeks both to repre- 
sent and to guide, but clearly if the index is not to be deceptive 
it must represent a real variety, and the voice of the Press must 
not be the voice of a megaphone. A free Press, again, has ever 
been and ever will remain alike the bulwark and the sure sign 
of public liberty. It is not merely that it is in the modern State 
the necessary means of political propaganda and political 
agitation, without which no active and healthy political life can 
exist at all, but only through it can the individual obtain the 
effectual expression of his thought and make his due and perhaps 
essential contribution to the life and energy of the nation. 

169 



SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


170 

These are lofty and indispensable functions. To sap or weaken 
them is to help to destroy not the least of our guarantees for the 
safe working of popular institutions and for personal and public 
liberty. It is not to be pretended that the Press discharges its 
duties perfecdy, but at least in this country it has created a great 
and, on the whole, responsible organisation on which the public 
has learnt to rely. Clearly it is not a thing to be lightly invaded 
or changed in its essential character. Like most other big things 
it has a body and a soul. Its body is its goodwill and its property, 
its soul its responsible use of them. The syndicated Press is 
primarily an accumulation of newspaper property. That is a 
tangible thing. As to the intangible part it is not possible to 
speak so surely. It is in truth a matter of much uncertainty, and 
the thing itself is perhaps a hazard. Obviously unity spells same- 
ness. The same man or corporation cannot honestly express a 
variety of opinions, and if he leaves others to express opinions 
for him what becomes of responsibility? Thus the variety, the 
local colour, the sense of individual responsibility which are the 
very life of a healthy Press must, it is to be feared, tend to fade, 
perhaps ultimately to disappear. Nor is that all. Even for a 
single newspaper it is not always easy to secure the continuity 
of purpose and ideas which the public have learnt to look for 
from it. But tradition and family connections often help. Where 
these arc absent, and property, bought and sold on the market, 
is the basis on which everything rests, what security is there 
against changes of policy with a change of hands ? The move- 
ment towards aggregation and the concentration of power is 
young at present, and any dangers that may be involved in it are 
as yet largely undeclared. But it is growing and may yet attain 
to vastly greater dimensions. And what then ? 



PRESS AND GOVERNMENT 

(March 12th, 1918) 


T here appear to us to be very strong reasons indeed why 
great newspaper proprietors should not also become mem- 
bers of Governments. To begin with, they are quite powerful 
enough already because of the extraordinary influence which 
they can exert over the minds of millions of men. But there are 
other objections. First, if to own a great newspaper is the sure 
road, or even a possible road, to political advancement, of course 
that road will be used by the less scrupulous and therefore the 
more undesirable as a means to that end, and we shall never know 
whether a furious Press campaign is directed to legitimate 
political objects in which the newspaper magnate believes, or is 
designed to put pressure on the Government — after the familiar 
House of Commons method — to cause the critic to be absorbed 
into the body criticised, because otherwise he will continue to 
make himself unpleasant or dangerous. That is one objection, 
and no one who knows anything about the inner working of 
politics and the grounds for some political appointments will 
dispute its validity. Another is the very great probability that the 
person appointed for such reasons would not be the best person, 
perhaps not even a tolerably suitable person, for the post to which 
he has raised himself. A third is that the stock-in-trade of a news- 
paper is news, and that a member of a Government or the holder 
of a great administrative post is bound to have access to con- 
fidential information of the most important kind. It is sheer 
nonsense, as Mr. Austen Chamberlain yesterday remarked, 
to suppose that he can divest his mind of it. Nor can he by 
merely for the time being relinquishing the direct management 
of his newspaper divest himself also of his responsibility. 
Unless he parts with the property he retains the control. The 
analogy of the director of a limited company who on accepting 



SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


172 

office is called upon to resign his directorship is in this case wholly 
misleading. The proprietor is the company. 

And this further question arises: If the proprietor does not 
guide his paper, who does guide it? And has he any right, so 
long as the power is his, to disclaim responsibility? Upon this 
earth there can be no much greater responsibility than that in- 
volved in the control of a great newspaper. All a man’s days 
and all his powers, all the conscience that is in him, and all the 
application he can give are surely not too much fitly to discharge 
so great a task. No malefactor he, indeed, if he rightly regards 
himself and his duty, but a public servant in a post as honourable 
and as taxing as that of any Minister. Intercourse with Ministers 
he may well have. If they can trust him, the more the better. 
Intercourse, too, with all sorts and all conditions of men, and 
with the affairs, so far as strength will carry him, of many 
countries. Surely here is labour enough and distinction enough 
for any man, even though his name should not be known. That 
is his proper place if he knows his vocation. But he has no 
business in a Government, and the precedent now set should 
never be followed. 



ON PEACEMAKING 


THE GREAT DAY 

(November 12th, 1918) 

T his is the great day — the great day of Peace, hoped for, 
longed for, at times appearing remote, almost unattainable, 
yet never despaired of, resolutely pursued, at last conquered. 
Now it is ours, and not ours only; it is the world’s, it is for our 
enemies no less than for ourselves; it is like the rain from Heaven, 
it is a gift to all. In name it is not peace but only the cessation 
of arms, but the arms, once laid down, will not be taken up 
again; the fighting is over, the slaughter is over; the armies may 
still stand on guard, and some of them must continue so to stand 
till the peace itself is signed, but their work is done. Recruiting 
has stopped. The vast machine of military munitioning may 
continue to work for a little, as it were by force of habit, but with 
fast-diminishing energy and with no serious purpose before it 
except that of bringing itself, as soon as possible and with as little 
injury as possible to the interests of the millions of men and 
women it has absorbed, to a complete standstill. Soon — as soon 
as possible — the men of the armies will begin to return, not for 
the present in masses, but rather by industries in prearranged 
order, with preference, no doubt, at the same time for the war- 
worn men, for those who for three years or four years have borne 
the heat and burden of the day, who have been wounded and 
returned to the fighting line, who at length have earned, if any 
men have earned, relief from the burden and the weariness of the 
long-drawn strife. Thus will hope come to many homes, and 
one by one at first and in ever-growing stream the men who have 
saved England, who have saved the world, will return to the 
land which owes them so deep a debt, which they have ennobled 
by their valour and their steadfastness, which will ever honour 
them but can never adequately repay. 
m 



SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


*74 

It is a great hour, a wonderful victory which we celebrate to-day 
— hard won, bitterly fought for, dearly paid. Yet if we are true 
to ourselves, worthy of an heroic destiny, it should yet be worth, 
and well worth, the price. It was by a fine inspiration that Mr. 
Lloyd George, after his brief statement in the House of 
Commons, called upon the House to adjourn for a service of 
thanksgiving at St. Margaret’s Church, hard by. In so doing he 
struck at once the note of seriousness, of deep responsibility, of 
appeal to what is best in the mind and purpose of the nation. 
It was well and fitly done, and marks, we may believe, the temper 
in which the Prime Minister desired that the nation should ap- 
proach, and in which he himself intends ?o approach, the great 
task of the resettlement of Europe and the permanent terms of 
peace. Events within the last few days have moved with breath- 
less rapidity, and the whole conditions of the problem as regards 
the Central Powers are changed. We have no longer to deal with 
two great and highly organised military autocracies, but with a 
whole series of States not merely democratic in form but in which 
the democratic forces have definitely assumed the upper hand. 
The process of change was as rapid as it was sudden, and even 
to the most careful observers unexpected. It has given us an 
Austria resolved into its elements of diverse nationality, each 
now claiming complete independence of the rest, and all, in- 
cluding even the German districts, having renounced allegiance 
to the ancient ruling house; a Hungary freed from its powerful 
ruling caste and no longer claiming itself to exercise rule over 
the subject nationalities so long held down by force within the 
body of the State; a Germany— most wonderful of all— freed 
from Prussian dominance no less than from the personal rule of 
the Imperial house which Prussia had imposed on the other 
German States, founded as it was on military victory, now 
ruined and discarded through military defeat. Even the most 
sceptical, the most wooden-minded, must at length see in this 
mighty evolution something more than the German cunning, 
the Teutonic tricks, for which they are ever on the watch and 
have hitherto never failed to discover. Facts are spectators of 
great and transforming events, and Germany stands disclosed 



ON PEACEMAKING 


r 75 

before us not merely as a great democratic State — or rather, we 
should say, as resolved or resolving itself into a series of such 
States, destined, we may believe, to form the United States of 
the Germany of the future — but as one which may easily pass to 
a position far more extreme. The inborn and acquired sense of 
discipline so strong in the German people will, we may well 
hope, save them from the excess, the disorder, and the bitter 
internal strife of which Russia has shown the world an example, 
but Bolshevism had its root in the mind of a German doctrinaire, 
and it remains yet to be seen whether Germany, in her deep 
humiliation and staggering under the load which is the legacy 
of four years of war, will resist the contagion. We have yet to 
see what her returning legions, suffering and bitterly disap- 
pointed, may have to say. Certainly if they should go back to 
find themselves workless and foodless the result is not likely to 
be happy for the German State. ... In the interests of order, in 
the interests of humanity, we must see to it that the German 
people, whose fate is now largely in our hands, shall not starve. 
That is a first duty which we owe to a conquered enemy. Let it 
be handsomely performed. 



THE DUTIES OF PEACE 

(November 19th, 1918) 

I T is too soon, incomparably too soon, to see the events of the 
past four years in their true perspective or to estimate their 
effect on the future of our own nation or of the family of nations. 
The ideas and the events of the French Revolution have not 
even yet, after more than a hundred years, begun to exhaust 
their influence on the course of European history, and those of 
the war now reaching its close in such catastrophic developments 
may well prove no less potent and disintegrating. We cannot 
probe the future; it is hard enough to take even an approximate 
measure of the present as it passes in its fated course before our 
eyes with all its majestic development. We are parties to it, 
actors in it, and yet it seems all to move with a life and purpose 
of its own apart from our will, surpassing our intelligence, and 
the thought most insistent through it all is the littleness of man 
measured by the greatness of events. Yet if this is a sobering 
reflection it must not lead us too far. For in the midst of the 
greatest events, and in proportion to their greatness, is the duty 
laid on us to play our part, each man, each nation, in the tasks 
which the day presents and which no future day can repeat or 
recall. It is this moral sense, this consciousness of an immense 
opportunity and of a duty no less great, which has guided the 
policy and informed every utterance of the most powerful and 
reflective mind which the war has produced among those who 
stand at the head of affairs. It is well that it is so, and it is doubly 
well that the same man who has thought hardest of duty and of 
policy is also the man who stands at the head of the greatest 
potential power in the world, that youthful Hercules, the United 
States. We have no need to follow blindfold any man or any 
statesman, and President Wilson has made his mistakes, but he 
can perhaps help us more than any other to retrieve our own 

I76 



ON PEACEMAKING 


177 

and to extort from the tangle of contending interests and 
ambitions — these are not yet extinct in the world or in the Foreign 
Offices — a result which, broadly at least, shall conform to justice, 
which shall, as the King in his speech divines, substitute order 
for violence and co-operation for enmity and release the nations 
from the stupendous burdens of armaments and the obsession 
of fear which have weighed them down and corrupted and im- 
poverished them. It is well that the Sovereign should hold out 
this hope to us and designate this goal. For only so can we 
achieve the real victory, the victory over our own folly and hate 
and greed. 

It is not to be achieved by words or by pious aspirations. It is 
an immensely difficult task, from the theoretic point of view no 
less than from the moral and practical. It is easy to talk about a 
League of Nations, even to draw up quite clear and specious 
schemes that would work beautifully if the nations were nations 
of angels. The real difficulty is to devise and elaborate a scheme 
which men will consent to work, and to which, when the pinch 
comes, they will submit; a scheme not so ambitious as to involve 
an entirely new world order, yet adequate for its primary and 
dominant purpose of preventing war, and with force behind 
sufficient to that end. In a word, we have to build up what has 
been variously described as a supra-national authority or a world- 
Statc. The task has been enormously eased and simplified by the 
disappearance or transformation of several existing States. There 
could have been no real union or co-operation of free nations 
with a militarist and autocratic Germany; only a most imperfect 
one with an autocratic Russia; none, again, with an Austria- 
Hungary of which the smaller half held in bondage the larger 
half of its total population. All three have disappeared, dis- 
appeared for ever, and in their place we have a new Europe, 
with new States springing into life, and old ones yielding to new 
and revolutionary forces. This vast upheaval, as yet carrying with 
it no complete order or stability, may indeed in itself present 
fresh difficulties, but at least they are far less than the old, for 
freedom, the essential base of real co-operation, has been won. 
Our task is twofold: on the one hand, to recognise and satisfy 

M 



17& SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

the sense of nationality, to give it everywhere concrete ex- 
pression, within if need be, new territorial limits; on the other 
hand, to prevent this sense of nationality from breaking bounds, 
to forbid the trespass of nation upon nation. It is a mighty and 
a difficult task to which the King calls us and for which the world 
is now making ready. Happily it has the full and resolute sup- 
port of our greatest ally, the ally who shares our political 
tradition and our speech; and no less, we may trust, that of all 
that is best in our own people, as we know it has that of our own 
Prime Minister. With such backers it should win through. 



THE SLUMP IN IDEALISM 

(December 3rd, 1918) 

W hatever else the election may have brought, it has 
not brought any better spirit into our politics, any raising 
of the tone of public discussion, any better prospect for a good 
peace. An election is usually something of a scrimmage, but no 
election within memory was such a poor sort of scrimmage as 
this. It is supposed — so Mr. Lloyd George has told us — to have 
for its objects, first, the strengthening of the hands of the 
Government for the negotiation of a just peace, and, secondly, 
the laying down of the lines of what is called, in the cant phrase, - 
Reconstruction — the repair of the damage of war, the restoring 
of the old privileges of peace, including, we must hope, some 
modicum at least of our ancient liberties; the building up and 
strengthening of the whole national life, and especially our 
economic life, so that we may the better bear the terrific burden 
of the war losses. Excellent objects no doubt, but how far are 
they being attained? And first as to peace and its negotiation. 
It is a difficult business. Under pressure of a common danger 
the great nations who stood against the German assault have 
held pretty well together — extraordinarily well, if we look to 
past precedents and the inevitable difficulties of such a com- 
bination. Outwardly they have presented a singularly united 
front, and any differences — of course there have been differ- 
ences — have been discreetly suppressed and as far as possible 
genuinely compromised. But they are there, and the moment 
of victory — that is, the moment when the controlling influence 
is withdrawn — is naturally the moment for their revival and 
emergence. Thus Italy, our very good friend, whose gallantry, 
chivalry, and idealism evoke in all forward-looking men so 
quick and fervent a response, has also her strictly materialistic 
or Imp erialis tic side, which at the present moment is actively 

179 



180 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

demonstrating itself in a manner which may well cause un- 
easiness. Or take France, again a country for which those of 
us who know her best have the deepest admiration and affection. 
Her civilisation is the brightest, the most attractive in the world. 
It has in these last years stood in deadly conflict with the stolid if 
massive equipment of the German mind, the German concep- 
tion of man and of the German man, wholly lacking, unhappily, 
in humour, and it has conquered. It shines forth henceforward 
unhampered at last by the sense of defeat, by the oppression of 
a great danger and a great fear. Yet Chauvinistic France is not 
dead, the France which in 1870 shouted its “ a Berlin ”, and 
which aspired and plotted even in the course of the present war 
for the annexation of purely German territory and extension 
to the Rhine. There are Chauvinists yet among its leading men 
— even the chief of them, the Prime Minister, now justly ac- 
claimed in his own country as “ the man of victory ”, has almost 
frankly professed his fidelity to that ancient faith in which as a 
public man he was reared and to which by temperament he 
belongs. Or take America — after all, we have got to face facts in 
this great business — America (though the telegrams are careful 
not to inform us) is at present seething with an orgy of ill- 
instructed passion, provoked by the realisation of the crimes 
(which have lost nothing in the telling) of German troops and 
German rulers of all grades from the Kaiser downwards. This 
feeling, quite strong enough and natural enough in itself, has 
been stimulated and played upon to the utmost for party pur- 
poses by the political opponents of the present administration 
and of the President, and they have been so far successful as to 
carry the recent elections for the Senate and the House of Repre- 
sentatives against him, and thus most seriously to embarrass him 
in the execution of his declared policy — a policy the wisdom and 
the justice of which have been recognised the world over, and 
on die execution of which in its main oudines our whole hope 
for the future resides. 

It is in this state of the world and of our alliances that Mr. 
George has chosen to embark on a general election. The time 
was a time for coolness, for restraint, for dignity in the hour of 



ON PEACEMAKING 


181 

victory, so that, if possible, we might achieve that most difficult 
of all conquests, the conquest of ourselves, and win that final 
success, the success of moderation and of statesmanship, rather 
than that of violence and self-assertion and the letting loose of 
passion. Already we begin to see the results. As for anything 
constructive, for any mandate on policy such as we were bidden 
to look for, there is no such thing. An outline of reforms was 
laid down in the joint manifesto of the Government at the 
beginning of the contest, but it receives a merely perfunctory 
assent from their followers. All the real ardour of the Coalition 
goes into execration of the enemy — who doubtless deserves curses 
deep and long, but is already paying a penalty which might 
satisfy even those whose mind cannot travel beyond the ethics 
of commination — and the demand for vengeance on him, high 
and low, and his utter exclusion for all the time to come from our 
land and our commerce. It is all as natural here as it was in 
America, and may prove no less effective as a political weapon. 
But in any larger view it is not helpful. It will not assist us to 
get rid of Chauvinism among ourselves or others; it will not 
strengthen the hands of those who wish to play the part of states- 
men at the Peace Conference; it will not advance by a hair’s- 
breadth the cause of a just and enduring peace. It will, on the 
contrary, make all these things more difficult. Perhaps Mr. 
George, with his quick perception of the working of popular 
emotions, foresaw this and was prepared to pay the price. At 
any rate he is doing nothing to restrain the forces he has let 
loose. He is, on the contrary, actively playing up to them, and 
that is perhaps the most serious result of all. He may think that 
the ferment, after all, is but a passing one, that when the election 
is over and he has got his majority he can drop the electioneer 
and revert to the statesman. He may hope that then he can play 
the part which we honesdy believe he would desire and on which 
his mind was at one time set, of evoking the permanent victory 
of peace from the passing victory of war, of turning to its true 
account perhaps the greatest opportunity that ever came to an 
English statesman for winning lasting credit and a great future 
for his country and salvation for the world. Why has he risked 



182 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

it all and made it all more difficult? Truly it is hard to look 
into the heart of any man, hardest of all perhaps for himself 
And what for us is the moral ? The election is on us, and we 
have to make what we can of it. The first necessity is to send to 
Parliament at least a strong body of stable and independent men, 
friends of international order, not mere screamers against 
Germany, but who can see even in Germany the possibility of 
far better things, not partisans wedded to the game of party — 
surely in our ranks there are none such now left — but resolute 
for principle, which so many easy-going and invertebrate politi- 
cians are eager to scrap because they cannot understand; and as 
to the great figure of the election, the conquering hero of the 
hour, friends not of the charlatan but of the statesman in Mr. 
Lloyd George. For in the time to come nothing is more certain 
than that he will need such discriminating support. The duty 
is a common one; it attaches to all honest and independent men, 
whether they march under the flag of Liberalism or under that 
of Labour. The two bodies are but wings of the same army, the 
army of social and political progress. Hard times are ahead of. 
us, taxing and perhaps dangerous times. Men of goodwill! 
should stand together. 



THE CONSTITUTION OF THE 
LEAGUE OF NATIONS 
(February 15th, 1919) 

W e publish to-day the momentous document in which the 
constitution, powers, and obligations of the future 
League of Nations are defined. The terms of this great inter- 
national treaty, as when adopted it will become, have been 
agreed to by all the Great Powers. It is not necessarily a final 
draft, and may, we hope, be in some respects amended after it 
has been subjected to the full public discussion which clearly 
is needed in regard to a matter of so much intricacy and such far- 
reaching importance. The scheme is in the main based on the 
admirable proposals put forward for the consideration of the 
Peace Conference by General Smuts and reproduces most of its 
salient features. Only in one material particular does it depart 
from the main lines of General Smuts’s proposals, but that, un- 
fortunately, is a point of very great importance. The first thing 
which we have to ask ourselves in the constitution of such a 
body is where is its mainspring, where is the force to which we 
can look to give it power and vitality ? General Smuts found this 
in what he called a “ General Conference ”, which was to be the 
Parliament, as it were, of the League. True, this Parliament of 
the League was not to be a legislature in the full sense. It could 
make proposals but could not pass laws. Still it was to be no 
mere debating society. Its proposals would have to be considered 
by the Council, or Executive, of the League, and if approved 
by it would take effect. But the great advantage of the General 
Conference was that it was to be a thoroughly popular body, 
and one, in General Smuts’s conception, evidently of consider- 
able size. All the Powers, members of the League, were to be 
represented on it, and its members were to be elected partly by 



184 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

the governments of the several Powers, partly by the Parliaments. 
The small Powers were here to be on a level with the great, and 
as the Conference had no power of enactment but only of advice, 
voting was to be by majority. It was to be a genuinely popular 
body which would possess an equal interest for all concerned, 
and might serve to kindle and sustain interest in the League and, 
as General Smuts put it, to spread the atmosphere of peace. It 
was a wise and far-reaching proposal, marked by the true demo- 
cratic feeling of its author — for is not the small State just as 
important to itself as the great State? — and his penetrating 
imagination. Unfortunately it finds no place in the draft scheme 
as now published. Instead, we have a body of “ Delegates ”, 
small in number and of meagre and ill-defined functions. In 
place of the wide franchise proposed by General Smuts, it is to 
be restricted to three representatives of each of the four Great 
Powers among the present Allies, voting not as individuals but 
as States. There is no provision, as in General Smuts’s scheme, 
for publicity, and there will consequently be little public interest 
and no educational effect. The executive body is the Council, 
but as it is only provided that it should meet once a year and as a 
vast mass of business will have to be constantly transacted, it is 
obvious that the real power, the mainspring of the whole business, 
must be sought elsewhere. 

The permanent body which is to transact this business is to be 
the Secretariat, a purely official body, with a Secretary General 
who will nominate the members of the Secretariat, subject, of 
course, to the approval of the Council, and who will act as 
secretary to the other bodies at their somewhat occasional 
meetings. In other words, we stand a good chance of getting a 
League of Nations run not by the peoples but by the officials. 
It would be a poor exchange and one which wc trust may yet 
be avoided. But the defect is one which cannot be overlooked, 
and when the President comes back from America wc trust that 
the constitution of the League may be subject to somewhat 
searching revision. Apart from this, it corresponds with all the 
hopes that have been founded on it. Its primary object is the 
prevention of war, and this it proposes to achieve, first, by pro- 



ON PEACEMAKING 


185 

viding for the submission of all disputes to the arbitral machinery 
provided by the League and insisting on a considerable period of 
delay before hostilities can be begun, pardy by elaborate pro- 
visions for the reduction of armaments, pardy by putting a check 
on the private manufacture of munitions, and therefore on the 
sinister working of private interests bound up with it. There is 
no provision for an international armed force, but each signatory 
nation is bound in certain circumstances to put its armed forces 
at the disposal of the League. The chief weapons of the League, 
however, will be economic. There will be a rigorous boycott of 
recalcitrant or pledge-breaking members amounting to a com- 
plete refusal of intercourse. As against almost any State this 
would be a deadly weapon indeed. Nor can the moral forces 
brought into play be regarded as of small account. After all, the 
organised opinion of the world, taking effect with foil publicity 
and on an impartial statement of the facts of any dispute, is a 
tremendous weapon. It may well prove also to a be a growing 
one. Where is the Power which dare in the long run expose itself 
to universal obloquy? 

These matters are largely for the future. The most immediate 
task of the League is to determine the fate of the vast regions 
which, through the operations of the war, have become derelict. 
They are two kinds, the barbarous and the semi-civilised, and 
the treatment to be accorded to each will correspond with this 
fundamental difference. In all cases they are to escheat in the 
first instance to the League of Nations, which will appoint 
“ mandatory ” or trustee powers. In the case of the barbarous 
countries in Africa and the Pacific Islands certain definite and 
invaluable restrictions are placed on the rights of the mandatory. 
There is to be no forced labour, no forced military service except 
for police or purely defensive purposes, no corruption by alcohol, 
no exploitation of their natural resources for the sole benefit of 
the occupying Power, no use of them as military bases. It is to be 
a real trust, and there is to be the open door of trade for all 
nations. In the case of the other class of territories, those, that 
is, that once formed part of the Turkish Empire, quite different 
conditions will apply, and there will be protection for religion 



1 86 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

and customs and a measure of local autonomy, passing later into 
self-government. In all cases there is to be an annual report of 
the administration to the League of Nations. This part of the 
scheme will need very careful examination. We miss, too, any 
provision for the assertion of the necessary powers of the League 
in regard to the new nations now in process of formation in 
Central Europe out of the wreck of two great empires. These 
owe their existence to the Great Powers who have won the war 
and are establishing the League. It is not merely the question of 
boundaries which will have to be determined. This will be done 
in the Treaty of Peace or the arrangements consequential on it, 
but there are religious liberties and local autonomies which need 
assertion and protection here no less than in the remains of the 
Turkish Empire. This is a matter which cannot be neglected, 
and it comes naturally within the province of the League. 



IS IT TO BE A REAL PEACE? 

(February 25th, 1919) 

W e are no longer waging war, but most certainly we arc 
not yet enjoying peace. We are in a kind of limbo, with 
the hell of war, it is true, well escaped, but the haven of an 
assured peace, of the kind of peace which alone could com- 
pensate for the immeasurable calamities of war, still remote, 
difficult, present to the eye of faith, but demanding a robust 
faith in order to inspire belief and a moral effort greater even 
than the effort of war before it can be translated into reality. 
Paris presents us with one series of problems, Germany and 
Russia mock us with others still more unmanageable. In Paris 
there is for the moment something of a pause. The dominating 
figures are withdrawn. President Wilson has landed in America 
to grapple with his own difficulties there, which are sufficiently 
formidable; Mr. Lloyd George, with a spirit happily ever 
buoyant, is engaged on a similar task in his own country; M. 
Clcmenceau, wonderfully recovering and triumphing over age 
and wounds, is still not able to take up the full burden of his 
great responsibilities. Yet the need for haste was never greater. 
Germany is seething with disruptive forces, and, until she knows 
her fate and recovers so much of liberty as is essential to economic 
life, cannot attain political stability. Russia is in the throes of a 
social and political upheaval perhaps unexampled in history for 
its intensity and destructiveness. Even peace when it comes will 
not bring us much of case, unless conditions in these two great 
nations, numbering between them some two hundred and fifty 
million people, can be so far improved and stabilised as to make 
free intercourse possible and to give some measure of unity once 
more to the family of nations. 

What hope, what prospect, is there that things may work out 
to this end, and what can we do to help them forward ? First of 

187 



1 88 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

all, undoubtedly, by hastening the actual conclusion of peace. 
Until that is done nothing will have been done, and even then 
little will have been done unless the peace is a right peace, a peace 
not of vengeance but of principle, resting not on any delusive 
“ material ” guarantees, but dictated by a statesmanship which 
takes account above all of the moral factors in the affairs of men, 
which will have the courage and the wisdom to base itself on 
these, and will refuse to repeat the error of the last great so-called 
peace, dictated in Versailles, which has proved but the breeding- 
ground of war and of a world-cataclysm. Yet there arc signs in 
abundance that it is precisely this error towards which powerful 
forces are seeking to urge us, and that the wisdom of moderation 
may once more be ignored. In these matters, matters touching 
the most intimate concerns of the great nations by whose side 
we have fought and whose welfare we earnesdy desire to protect 
and sustain, it is difficult to speak quite frankly without running 
the risk of appearing to be unfriendly; yet surely frankness is 
the truest friendship, since it is not our own interests in particular 
for which we are concerned, but the interests of us all. It all 
comes back to this: Are we to find security, in particular are 
France and Italy to find security, in territorial annexations and 
similar limited and material guarantees, or are we to look for 
them in a new direction ? In other words, is the general con- 
ception of a League of Nations, of an alliance, or combination, 
of all the great and most of the small nations of the world for 
the preservation of the world’s peace, to prevail and be made 
effective, or is it to be treated as secondary and any real security 
to be sought, as hitherto it always has been sought, in frontiers, 
alliances, armaments ? It is a great choice ; it is perhaps a perilous 
one; but it has got to be made, and there can be no half-way 
house, no merging of the two in the hope of gaining the ad- 
vantages of both. In that view President Wilson is, to our mind, 
absolutely right, and we hope he will hold fast to his position 
and refuse to make a peace other than the “ peace of justice ” for 
which he stands, and to which, in truth, the whole of the Allies 
are in terms committed. 

Let us look at the matter in the concrete. France (or shall we 



ON PEACEMAKING 


189 

say the French Foreign Office and the more articulate French 
opinion, which is not quite the same thing?) is known to desire 
one small annexation of undoubted German territory — that of 
the Saar Valley with its coalfield; and one much larger semi- 
annexation — the political separation from Germany, which 
would also imply economic dependence on France, of the whole 
of the German territories west of the Rhine, which at present 
constitute Rhenish Prussia. The first desire can only be gratified 
at the cost of a clear infraction of the basis in principle of the 
League of Nations, which is that populations, small and great, 
shall not be transferred “ like cattle ”, as the President expressed 
it, from one Power to another. It may be said that the population 
is small, and that, being largely a mining population, it is more 
or less migratory, but the whole question of principle is involved, 
and that is not small. As to Rhenish Prussia, that is in scale a 
much greater matter. It is a great and prosperous manufacturing 
area, and contains such famous cities as Cologne, Aix-la- 
Chapelle, Treves, Coblenz, Bonn, Diisseldorf, and Crefeld, to 
say nothing of Essen. To cut it off forcibly or by any merely 
colourable device from Germany would be to invoke in 
Germany precisely the same feelings that have existed in France 
for nearly half a century in regard to Alsace-Lorraine, with 
results probably not dissimilar. The same considerations apply 
to the desire of a powerful party in Italy, though not, we are glad 
to think, of the best Italian opinion, for extensive annexations 
of Jugo-Slav districts on the east side of the Adriatic. Such gains 
may be tempting, they may even have a delusive appearance of 
protective value, but at bottom they are a source of profound 
weakness, first because they create bitter and prolonged enmity, 
and secondly because they alienate friends. It is impossible that 
this country, as a member of the League of Nations, should 
consent to guarantee the permanence of such acquisitions; it is 
even more impossible that America, with her traditional reluc- 
tance to engage herself in European troubles, should guarantee 
them. There would, in consequence, be no League of Nations, 
or only a sham one. What France had taken from Germany, 
what Italy had taken from her neighbour, they would have them- 



SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


190 

selves to defend, and to defend by the old means of power. What, 
then, would be their security? It would have vanished. They 
would have sacrificed the substance for the shadow. All loyal 
friends of both in this country must desire that they should avoid 
so fatal an error. 



1830 

ADVERTISING PERFORMING ANIMALS 



THE TREATY OF PEACE 

(May 3rd, 1919) 

T he vast work of the conclusion of a world-peace yesterday 
reached its most formal and dramatic stage. In the presence 
of the representatives of all the great Allied Powers and of nearly 
a score of lesser ones, the document containing the terms was 
presented at Versailles to the plenipotentiaries from Germany. 
These terms are of course primarily terms of peace with Ger- 
many. They define her future frontiers east and west and north 
and south; they demand from her, besides the surrender of 
territory, the payment of a vast indemnity; they define the con- 
ditions, military and other, to which she is called upon to submit 
as security for the fulfilment of these obligations and for the 
maintenance of peace; they demand the surrender for trial and 
punishment of specific offenders against the laws and customs 
of war. But they do more than this; they include proposals 
which are of far wider scope and which are not punitive but 
constructive. In the very forefront of the proposed treaty stands 
the whole scheme of the League of Nations, in which at present 
Germany is not invited to become a member, but of which in its 
application to the general settlement her acceptance is required. 
There is besides the great International Labour Convention, for 
which also her concurrence is needed, though it is not in the 
same measure obligatory. And, besides the terms having special 
application to herself, her acceptance is required in advance to 
those which may hereafter be imposed upon her former allies — 
upon Austria-Hungary, or so much as remains of it, upon 
Bulgaria, upon the Turkish Empire. It is an immense pro- 
gramme, and it is not wonderful that it should be embodied in 
a document of unexampled complexity and length. It has taken 
five months to draw up; Germany is to be allowed a fortnight for 
its consideration. M. Clemenceau yesterday promised all needful 
explanations. The time is not likely to prove too long. 

191 



SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


192 

The question which most deeply concerns us in regard to it is: 
How far does it supply a just basis for an enduring peace? That 
again mainly depends upon how far the territorial changes it 
proposes can be justified on grounds of equity apart from the 
passions of war and national ambitions. There are some tre- 
mendous historical reparations. What would the Liberal 
England — for there was a Liberal England — of the ’thirties not 
have felt had it been told that the great wrong of the partition 
of Poland would within a hundred years have been utterly 
undone ? What would the older men still living not have felt 
if they had known that the rape of Slesvig would be atoned in 
little more than fifty years? What would we all not have given 
any time this last forty years to have known that to-day France 
would recover her lost provinces and the crime and folly of 1871 
be a thing of the past ? And there is an even older account to 
be squared, though less present to men’s minds to-day — the suc- 
cessful raid of the Great Frederick in Silesia, the prototype and 
model for all those later raids by his successors. It is all over 
now, the wrongs are to be undone, the peoples to be liberated, 
justice and liberty to claim their own, and the Peace Treaty will 
declare and secure it. But is there nothing on the other side, no 
overleaping of the line of wisdom and of moderation, no fresh 
wrong which the years may be called upon to undo ? Something, 
we fear, there is to be set on this wrong side of the account. It 
is hard to pretend that the arrangement proposed for the Saar 
Valley is an ideal one. It bears on its face every mark of a com- 
promise, and of a pretty bad compromise. No one will deny to 
France her right to all possible reparation, and, having been 
despoiled for a good many years to come of great part of the 
produce of her ruined northern mines, she may justly claim 
compensation in kind from the German coalfield on her southern 
border. But the complicated arrangement by which she acquires 
the mines in absolute possession, instead of merely their produce 
for a fixed term, with a sort of contingent claim to the whole or 
part of the territory, is thoroughly unsatisfactory and disturbing, 
and can only tend to keep open a sore which it was as much in 
file interest of France as of the general peace to heal. All that 



ON PEACEMAKING 


193 

can be said for it is that it is better than the sheer annexation 
which French Chauvinism — a different thing from France — 
would have demanded. So, again, of the Danzig arrangement 
on the eastern front. It is better than the worst with which we 
were threatened, but falls pretty heavily short of what might 
have been desired. It may be admitted that the problem was not 
a simple one, and that it was not easy to reconcile the need of 
Poland for a port on the Baltic — her only access to the sea — with 
German historic and territorial rights. Yet it might have been 
done, and it has not been done. Happily, here also the original 
proposal to transfer a million or two Germans to Polish 
sovereignty has been severely cut down, and this we owe mainly 
to the good sense and courage of the British Prime Minister. 
But none the less a wedge is driven clean through German 
territory. East Prussia, the historic seat of the Prussian power, 
is cut off from the rest of Germany, and a source of deep and, we 
fear, permanent unrest is created in the heart of Europe. It is 
something that Danzig and its immediate district is to be a free 
city with some sort of municipal self-government under the 
Polish flag, but it is idle to suppose that this will permanently 
satisfy either Germany or the Danzigers. You cannot with im- 
punity violate national self-consciousness or place people of a 
higher civilisation under those of a lower, the implacable ad- 
herents of one religion under the fanatical professors of another. 
This source of permanent unrest has now been only partially 
avoided, and incidentally Poland is assured of the permanent 
hostility of her mighty neighbour. 

So much cause we have for rejoicing, so much for foreboding 
and regret. Of the other main provisions of the Draft Treaty 
by for the most important is that relating to the payment of the 
indemnity, because it governs so much else. The great interest 
of Europe, and of ourselves as sharing its destinies, is to revert 
as soon as possible to normal conditions of intercourse and 
national relations. For that reason it is in the highest degree 
undesirable to embody in the treaty what arc virtually war con- 
ditions extending over a long period of time. It is not perfectly 
clear what is really designed in the matter of indemnities, but 

N 



SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


194 

one clause of the Draft Treaty actually contemplates the estab- 
lishment, by a Commission with authority for the purpose, of “ a 
schedule of payments ” to discharge the obligations of Germany 
extending over thirty years. Well, we are not going to worry 
about Germany for all that space of time, nor, it is safe to say, 
is she going to worry about us. What might be called a pro- 
visional estimate for war damages of various kinds has been 
put, so far as appears from a perhaps purposely obscure provision, 
at some five thousand millions, of which a thousand millions are 
to be payable within two years by means of the issue of a loan of 
20,000 million marks (gold), but payments are to be “ subject 
to postponement in certain contingencies ”. As security for pay- 
ment the occupation of German territory is contemplated for a 
period of fifteen years, with the right of re-entry in case the 
instalments are not duly paid. Such a period would certainly 
much more than exhaust British patience. Would it not be 
better to fix a sum which Germany may fairly hope to pay within 
a shorter period, and thus to do what we can to help her to pay 
t? At present her industries are ruined, her people enfeebled, 
her government in total disorder. She is not in a position to 
resist any terms we may choose to impose. But a wise policy 
will treat her no longer as an enemy to be feared and destroyed, 
but as part of the Europe of which we ourselves form an integral 
part, and which for many a long year will need all our help and 
all our care to save it from ruin. 



THE GERMAN PROTESTS 

(May ioth, 1919) 

F or us the fundamental question is whether we desire a 
peace of appeasement or a peace of violence. Nothing 
is easier in the hour of uncontested victory than for the victor to 
overreach himself. It happened to Germany in 1871, as Bismarck 
only too truly augured at the time; nothing is easier than that it 
should happen to us now. Does our true interest lie in a Germany 
so crushed that she will despair of herself and fall a victim first 
to anarchy and then, as would inevitably happen in a people with 
so strong an instinct for discipline and order, to reaction? If 
not, then we must not seek wholly to deprive her sense of 
national pride and self-respect. That may be called weakness; it 
is, on the contrary, the most elementary prudence and common 
sense. When Germany overthrew her military autocracy it was 
undoubtedly in the hope and belief that, as a democratic State 
in line with the other democratic States of Europe, she might 
escape from her past and be regarded as having in some degree 
at least atoned for its errors. So she was told, and so we ourselves 
at one time honestly believed. Who does not remember the 
declarations that to a democratic Germany much might be con- 
ceded which to a Germany still militarist, still autocratic, could 
not be allowed ? So Germany parted with her militarism, parted 
with her autocracy, only then to discover that she was still 
regarded in precisely the same light as before. Such discoveries 
breed disillusionment and are apt to be followed by reaction. If 
the worst has happened to her in her democratic state, might she 
not perhaps have fared as well, or better, had she not overthrown 
her traditions and her Emperor overboard ? Who shall say that 
similar developments may not take place in Russia, and that, out 
of the civil broils we are industriously engaged in there, foment- 
ing reaction may not shortly raise its head and a Koltchak come 

>95 



196 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

forward as the destined saviour of society? And what of the 
League of Nations? If for fifteen, perhaps thirty years, Germany 
is to be an occupied territory, clearly she cannot at the same time 
desire to enter a League which for her will represent nothing 
more than the force behind the occupation. It all comes back to 
this: our task in Europe is not to destroy but to rebuild. Even a 
diminished Germany will still be the greatest State in Europe. 
She will have to be rebuilt with the rest, and we shall have to 
help her. 



1830 

ADVERTISEMENT OF ASTRONOMICAL LECTURES 



AUSTRIA 

(June 4th, 1919) 

T he treaty with Austria excites far less interest than that 
with Germany, partly because, in point of fact, there is no 
Austria. What was Austria has ceased to exist. Part of it has 
become Italy, part Jugo-Slavia, part Czecho-Slovakia. Austria 
was in essence a composite empire, and if it had recognised its 
true function as a composite empire it might yet have remained. 
The recognition of Hungarian liberty saved it for a time; the 
recognition of Slavonic and Bohemian liberty might have saved 
it now. Something of this truth had dawned on the murdered 
Archduke Francis Ferdinand, but it was too late. His death was 
the signal for war, and the penalty of war has proved to be dis- 
solution. Austria is to-day Austria in name only, and when the 
translator of the Draft Treaty, at its ceremonial presentation, 
spoke of her by a slip as “ German Austria ”, he spoke the truth, 
or a little less than the truth, since parts even of German Austria 
have gone elsewhere, and the country now bearing this historic 
name is a little State of some six million inhabitants, one among 
a series of little States carved out of the body of the ancient 
empire, and by no means the greatest of them. No parallel to 
such a disruption of a great European State is to be found since the 
dissolution of the Roman Empire. It is vain now to speculate 
whether on the whole it is likely to prove a gain or a loss to the 
political life of Central Europe, and whether some loose form 
of federation, recognising the economic and political inter- 
dependence of this extraordinarily mixed and varied body of 
men of many races, might not have been better. The thing is 
done and cannot be undone, and any reversal of the purely 
separatist movement can only come with time and the recog- 
nition of common interests, together with the growth of the 
great democratic movement on which in the end the reconcilia- 



198 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

don of the peoples and the establishment of a stable order in 
Europe must depend. 

Meanwhile the German fragment of what was Austria stands 
alone and forlorn. She pleads, and pleads justly, that she must 
not be called upon to bear the whole burden of the sins of the 
old Empire, for which she is no more directly responsible than her 
neighbours. The terms of reparation are not yet published, but 
no doubt they will take account of Austria’s vastly diminished 
area and resources. The natural course for German Austria 
would be to throw in her lot with Germany as part of a future 
federal German Republic. The country, as it stands, is not self- 
sufficing or organised as a separate community. What is a very 
small people to do with a very great capital ? What is it to do 
with a poor soil, without coal, without ships, and cut off from 
the sea? As a part of Germany it might hope to recover some- 
thing of its position as a member of a great State. Union with 
Germany is not at the moment a particularly inviting prospect, 
but that, after all, is a matter for the German Austrians to con- 
sider. Clearly, on every principle by which we have professed to 
be guided in the resettlement of Europe, on the principle of 
nationality, on the principle that a people has a right to determine 
its own allegiance, the German districts of Austria may claim 
liberty to link their fate with that of the Germans across the 
borders. By one of the strangest and least defensible provisions 
of the treaty with Germany they are prohibited from doing so, 
unless with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations. 
But as the decisions of the Council arc valid only when 
unanimous, this means that any single nation represented on the 
Council can prohibit union. France, in fact, is left as absolute 
arbiter. It is only of a piece with this that, by the proposed treaty 
with Austria, the German-speaking districts of the Tyrol arc 
annexed to Italy, and that we arc presented with an Austria 
irredenta in place of the old Italia irredenta , and this, as in other 
cases, without any pretence of consulting the population con- 
cerned. And yet a few months ago we were told that popula- 
tions were no longer to be transferred from one allegiance to 
another “ like cattle ” and we really believed it. 



ON PEACEMAKING 


199 

These are things which it is hard indeed to defend, still more 
to applaud. Yet there are features in the Austrian treaty which 
suggest hope. The reduced Austria is a purely inland State and, 
as such, presumably as much entitled to access to the sea as 
Poland or Czecho-Slovakia. This is provided for. Austria, it is 
laid down, “ is to have free access to the Adriatic, with rights to 
freedom of transit over territories and in ports severed from the 
former Austria-Hungary ”. If this free commercial access to 
the sea suffices for Austria, may it not also suffice for Poland ? 
May it not even suggest a line of compromise for the thorny 
question of Fiume ? But there is a much more important clause 
than this in the Austrian treaty, which we also welcome as a 
precedent. Austria is to undertake “ to bring her institutions into 
conformity with the principles of liberty and justice”, and she 
is “to acknowledge that the obligations for the protection of 
minorities are matters of international concern over which the 
League of Nations has jurisdiction ”. Specific mention is made 
of the protection of the distinctive language, religion, and educa- 
tion of the minorities, and all Austrian subjects are to be “ equal 
before the law ”. It is required that this charter of liberties or 
Bill of Rights shall form part of the fundamental law of the 
land, guaranteed by the League of Nations. This is the first 
clear indication we have had that the protection of racial 
minorities will form part of the charter of independence of the 
new States and will be insisted upon by the Peace Conference 
as a condition of recognition. Obviously it must apply all round 
— in Poland, in the new Rumania, in the liberated States of the 
old Austria no less than in the diminished Austria itself Apart 
from this, we should simply be substituting a new tyranny for 
the old tyranny. Already the aspiring new States are protesting 
in advance. Their protests must be absolutely overruled. It is 
the vital condition of any approach to peace in Europe. 



THE END OF THE WAR 

(June 24th, 1919) 

T he Great War is over. The terms of peace as finally drawn 
up by the Allies have been accepted by the new German 
Government constituted for that special purpose, and the actual 
document will be signed by the new German plenipotentiaries 
almost immediately. Thus is the curtain rung down on the 
Titanic struggle, and within a few days of the fifth anniversary 
of the Sarajevo murder — it was on June 28th, 1914 — the mighty 
Empire which made it the excuse for a mad aggression lies 
humbled in the dust. That at least, apart from all other con- 
siderations, is matter for profound thankfulness and for some 
legitimate pride. No nation which was not tough in fibre and 
strong of soul could have gone through such an ordeal without 
blenching, sustained by a faith which nothing could shake in 
the justice of its cause. Immense issues were at stake. The 
triumph of Germany, of the old Germany of autocracy and 
militarism and of the ideal of power, would have meant such a 
set-back to all the democratic forces of the world, to the whole 
conception of a peaceful civilisation, as it might have taken 
generations to undo. It would have meant the supremacy of one 
great military State in Europe and the greater part of Asia, the 
crushing of France with all that France and the French spirit 
stand for, the military occupation of England, a menace to all 
free peoples in every part of the world. And such a domination 
would have been a soulless, mechanical thing, spelling degenera- 
tion to the conqueror no less than ruin to the conquered. From 
such things at least the world has been saved by the victory on 
which this week will place the seal. 

It would be well if, in the hour of defeat and bitter suffering, 
the German people themselves could remember something of 
these things, and could recognise in the fate that has befallen 
them something more than the malice of enemies and the cruelty 
of fortune. For us no less is there occasion for searching of heart. 

What use have we made, what use are we making, of an un- 

200 



ON PEACEMAKING 


201 


paralleled victory, an unequalled opportunity? Apart from the 
negative gain of dire disaster escaped, what fruit arc we drawing 
from success, what permanent gain are we securing for the 
world? And it is here that rejoicing must be qualified and 
heavy doubts recur. We started on the waging of the war with 
high ideals, we entered with ideals yet higher and clearer on the 
making of the peace. And then — what happened ? It would 
be hard, perhaps, fully to explain, still more to justify, but in 
the six or seven months of discussions and of bargaining among 
the victors the best fruits of victory have somehow disappeared, 
and the peace which emerges is not the peace we had promised 
ourselves or, as the enemy bitterly urges, which we had promised 
them. The peace we had hoped for would have been one which 
so far as possible presented elements of finality, which had 
careful regard, therefore, to the deeper forces by which nations 
are swayed, and would enlist these on the side of peace and of 
permanence. It would above all have refrained from outraging 
the sense of nationality, that potent emotion which holds masses 
of men of like tradition and sentiment together and renders 
them capable of unlimited endurance and unlimited sacrifice. 
We have not done this. We have, indeed, freed more than one 
oppressed nationality and created new States, but at more than 
one point we have needlessly and flagrantly violated the national 
sense of existing States, and above all of Germany, the greatest 
of them. It is a capital error which not only violates the principle 
on which we professed to act but introduces an element of in- 
stability into the whole structure of the peace which goes far to 
destroy its value. Again, the peace was to have marked and 
established the triumph of democracy, but what is democracy 
apart from the democratic spirit? And that spirit implies the 
sense of common interest and of mutual goodwill. How much 
of these has gone to the making of the peace, how much of them 
will remain to cement it? How much thought has been 
bestowed on the future of the German people in the imposition 
of an unlimited indemnity, in the complicated system of 
economic restraint and isolation by which at the same time their 
commerce is to be ruined and their industries forbidden to 



202 


SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


expand? It may be said that to ask for any such consideration, 
even though the common interest of the world demanded it, 
from peoples who have suffered as the French and to a less extent 
we ourselves have suffered, is to ask too much from human 
nature. We do not believe it. The real democratic forces in all 
the countries, here, in France, in Italy, have in this matter gone 
far in advance of their rulers. Had they had the making of the 
peace it would have been far and away a better, a juster, a more 
stable. 

None the less must we all be profoundly thankful that there 
is a peace at all. Had our terms not been accepted war would 
have begun once more to-day at one minute past the fated hour 
of seven. And what kind of a war ? A war of starvation telling 
chiefly on the children, the women, and the aged, and a war of 
arms from which all the glory and the adventure would have 
departed and only the cruelty would have remained. Well may 
we give thanks to have escaped so intolerable a necessity. Nor 
can it be doubted that the German Government has been wise. 
Nothing could have been gained by delay and only added mis- 
fortune could have come from resistance. No one supposes that 
the terms accepted now are eternal and immutable, and the day 
may not be distant when they will be sensibly modified. The 
entry of Germany into the League of Nations cannot be long 
postponed, and that will carry with it the right to equal rights 
with other nations in access to raw materials, besides giving a 
ground from which modifications in the existing settlement may 
be pressed. In his speech to the National Assembly on Sunday, 
Herr Bauer, the new Premier, urged as one of the grounds for 
acceptance of the treaty that the Allies had themselves within 
the last few days held out such a hope. In their Note of June 19th 
they pointed out that “ the treaty creates the machinery for the 
peaceful adjustment of all international problems by discussion 
and consent, and whereby the settlement of 1919 itself can be 
modified from time to time to suit new frets and new conditions 
as they arise.” That njay be vague enough, but at least it opens 
a door to better things. It will be for the democratic forces of 
Europe to see to it that it is not closed. 



ON LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 

(July 8th, 1912) 

A s a result of the three-cornered contests in the two con- 
stituencies it is quite possible that while Liberalism and 
Labour arc snapping and snarling at each other the Conservative 
dog may run away with the bone. That would be lamentable, 
but it might have its compensations if it led to a somewhat 
deeper consideration of the whole question of the relations of 
the two divisions of the party of progress. And first we must 
ask whether they are properly described as two divisions of the 
same army, or whether they ought rather to be regarded as quite 
separate armies pursuing distinct ends which might at any time 
bring them into direct and necessary antagonism. Few Liberals 
will hesitate as to the answer to be given to this question. They 
are in too complete accord with the essential aims of Labour, 
with its deep social sympathies, its demand for justice to the 
disinherited classes, its advocacy of international co-operation 
and a pacific policy in all external relations as the condition of 
internal reform, its steady refusal to permit the burden of taxation 
to be replaced on the means of subsistence of the poor by any 
cajoleries of tariffmongers — they sec too clearly in all this the 
very life and temper of the only Liberalism worthy of the name 
to doubt for a moment that they have here not possible enemies 
but real and trustworthy friends. Tories may shriek of con- 
fiscation and parade the Socialist bogey, but the working men of 
England are not Socialists in any revolutionary sense, and it will 
be time enough for Liberals to refuse to co-operate cordially with 
those who most direedy represent them when, if ever, the danger 
arises. For die present most Liberals will agree that, judged by 
their action in the House of Commons, the Labour members 



SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


204 

have shown themselves so far perhaps the very best Liberals in 
that assembly. Towards such a party the natural attitude of 
Liberals would seem to be one not of jealousy or hostility but of 
frank and intimate co-operation. Their aims are in substance 
our aims, their strength is our strength. In combination with 
them we can achieve great things; but any real antagonism 
would bring disaster to both. 

Of course there are difficulties, as the present troubles indicate. 
The Labour party have a separate organisation, they refuse all 
party allegiance, they hold themselves free to run Labour can- 
didates for Liberal seats, and in the constituencies which they 
hold they will not co-operate in party matters with Liberals, even 
where, as often happens, they depend absolutely upon Liberal 
support for the election of their candidates. It is a provoking 
situation, deeply wounding to the pure party man. But even this 
aspect of it has its compensations. If Labour organisations did 
not maintain this distinctive character and a real independence 
they would win no Tory support. It used to be denied that they 
did win any worth counting, but that can hardly now be main- 
tained, and as the party grows in strength and reputation it is 
likely to draw increasingly from the ranks of the Tory working 
men. Liberals can hardly be expected to welcome the loss of 
seats which they could hold against all comers, even to repre- 
sentatives of another progressive party, but as till recently they 
held all the seats which were not held by Tories, the Labour 
Party could never have had any representatives in the House of 
Commons at all if some transfers of this sort had not taken 
place. The difficulty is one which arises not from the nature of 
things but from the defects of our electoral system. It would 
disappear at once and for ever with any tolerable system of pro- 
portional representation which grouped existing constituencies 
into larger units and gave to the different parties in each of these 
aggregates representation in exact proportion to the number of 
its adherents. There would then be no question of Labour men 
having to vote for Liberals or Liberals for Labour under penalty 
of handing over the seat to an anti-progressive utterly unaccept- 
able to both of them. Meanwhile, and failing this radical reform, 



ON LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


205 

invaluable also for other reasons, there is nothing for it but mutual 
consideration, a fair regard for each other’s numerical claims, 
respect for the real wishes of the progressive elements in con- 
stituencies — in a word, compromise. 



1830 

A MENAGERIE ADVERTISEMENT 
AT KNOTT MILL FAIR 


COALITION 

(April 24th, 1923) 


T o pretend that there is no difference worth speaking of 
between the Conservative and the Liberal standpoints 
is even more absurd than to pretend that over a vast part of 
the field of politics there is no natural affinity tetween 
Liberalism and Labour. Let us each rally to our standards. 
There need be no exaggeration of differences and certainly no 
mere partisan hostility or pretentiousness. Mr.Fildes [thenM.P. 
for Stockport] exhorts us to believe that “ kindly feeling and 
unselfish desires ” are not the exclusive appanage of any single 
party. Of course they are not. They are the common property 
of all decent men and women, the foundation of goodness and 
sobriety on which the very structure of the State must rest. But 
there are different ways of giving effect to these feelings. Know- 
ledge, tradition, sympathy, all these have their part in moulding 
political opinion. Interest, too, plays its part, and, consciously or 
unconsciously, an enormous part. It is not enough to have good 
intentions; it is needful also to know how best to give effect to 
them, and the more vividly and conscientiously men realise this 
the more they will tend to separate into the groups which we call 
parties and the better and more honest will be the political life 
of the nation. 

Surely the point we have to come to is this: Is there or is there 
not need and a place, a vitally important place, for Liberalism 
rightly understood in the life of the country ? There can be few 
men who have studied political history and in whom the spirit 
of all that Liberalism stands for lives who could do anything but 
shout an affirmative reply. Liberalism is not, as some would 
have us believe, the -shibboleth of a party, or, as Mr. Fildes 
would appear to hold, a doctrine, a programme which, its main 
objectives having now been achieved, may be dismissed as of 



ON LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


207 

small account. It is a spirit and a principle capable in itself of 
growth and of ever fresh application. Historically it is the 
mother, in all countries, of free institutions. It is the foe of all 
tyranny, of the tyranny of opinion no less than of the tyranny 
of institutions and of administration; it is the friend of the 
oppressed and of the common man. It hates privilege, it seeks 
no advantage for a class which it would not share with all. 
Within the limits of what is possible it makes for equality. It 
hates war, as the destroyer, though it is willing to wage war in 
defence of things more precious than life or property — in 
defence of justice and of the higher interests of civilisation. In 
much of this, it may be said, it has no exclusive property, and it 
is true that its spirit is pervasive. So much the better; let all share 
who will. But will it be pretended that there is any party which 
on the whole has so persistently held before itself these ideals, 
or on the whole so faithfully followed them P The Labour Party 
will claim that it also holds by them. The Labour Party is the 
child of Liberalism and, should the Liberal Party ever prove 
unfaithful to its traditions, might claim to supplant it. But it 
has as yet no tradition and scant experience. It is a party of social 
experiment, untried and, in the minds of some of its advocates, 
subversive. It has yet to create a body of doctrine on which it 
is even itself agreed. Between Liberalism and Labour there are 
deep natural affinities, but for many a long day each is likely to 
pursue its separate path. If and when there is question of 
political co-operation the best elements in Liberalism will find 
it easiest to join hands with Labour. Mr. Fildes and his friends, 
it seems, would prefer to turn in another direction. 



LORD OXFORD’S FAREWELL 

(October 16th, 1926) 

T here is little in Lord Oxford’s powerful and restrained 
speech at Greenock last night with which Liberals generally 
will not agree, though they might state a little differently the 
position which he states with great force but a certain limitation 
of outlook. The speech may be regarded as in some sort a 
political testament, summing up the essentials of the political 
faith of a lifetime and looking forward to the future to justify it. 
There is no Liberal worthy of the name who will not share 
Lord Oxford’s deep faith in the permanence of Liberalism as an 
indestructible part of the life of the nation. And the reason for 
this is that it contributes certain elements of truth and con- 
viction which are vital to our welfare and which are by both the 
other great parties denied or neglected. Lord Oxford finds the 
essentials of Liberalism in two things — in the supreme value it 
places on liberty and in its insistence that in all things the interest 
of the nation shall come before that of any section or class. Both 
claims are just, though they need perhaps to be qualified or 
supplemented. Historically the Liberal Party has, beyond doubt, 
been the party of liberty. It has fought for the enfranchisement 
of the people, for the freedom of trade, for equality before the 
law which is vital to freedom, for the opening of the schools 
and the universities, without which the freedom of the spirit is 
impossible and the avenues of advancement are closed. For all 
this it has fought, but no principle is absolute, and let it not be 
disguised that there was a time when the principle of liberty was 
misinterpreted and misapplied and when it took on the 
grotesquely perverted form of every man for himself and the 
Devil take the hindmost. Let it also not be denied that some 
good Tories were found to dispute these perverted maxims and 

that the first Factory Acts were carried by their aid. 

208 



ON LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


I09 

The second great principle which Lord Oxford invoked as of 
the essence of Liberalism has been subject to no such partial per- 
version. It is true, and it is gloriously true, that Liberalism stood 
and stands for the supreme interest of the State, of the whole 
community as against the partial claims of any and every section. 
It is not true of any other party. The Conservative Party is, and 
always has been, the party of interests, of powerful sections of 
the community whose interests might or might not coincide with 
the public advantage, but which had in either case to be pro- 
tected. Property is its fetish, and where the interests, real or 
imaginary, of property are involved the dice are apt to be heavily 
loaded against the common good. And in a very real sense the 
same thing is true of Labour. The Labour Party is based on the 
trade union, and the trade union, invaluable as are the services 
which it renders, and has rendered, is, after all, a sectional 
organisation with sectional interests and, as at present organised, 
tends naturally and almost inevitably in the wars it carries on 
to forget that to every such war there is a third party — the public 
— which pays most of the costs. Liberalism is under no such 
temptation. It is bound neither to the sectional interests of class 
or property nor to the sectional interests of the great Labour 
organisations; it is bound only to serve the State. But do these 
two great principles of freedom and disinterestedness really 
exhaust the vital meaning and purpose of Liberalism ? Is there 
not something more and even deeper in which it no longer differs 
from Labour but is at one with it and with the elect— alas ! none 
too many — of Conservatism? What is it that has given its true 
strength and driving force to Labour? Is it not the sense, deep 
and strong, of the sorrow, the disabilities, the miseries, the 
wrongs of the great masses of the poor, and does this not supply 
its moral impulse and its community of purpose and ideal? And 
does not the Liberal Party, all that is best in it, share these 
feelings, sympathise in the pity and the indignation, draw some- 
thing of inspiration itself from the closer experience and perhaps 
deeper feeling of men who have themselves struggled and 
suffered and seen others go down ? And is it not in this roused 
social sense and the resolve that goes with it to think and to plan 

o 



210 


SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


and to labour for better things that the spirit and the power of 
Liberalism are being fed ? Here at least it is not at odds with 
Labour; it is wholly at one with it. 

Lord Oxford, we cannot doubt, is conscious of this need, and 
prepared to join in the search for remedies. But is he folly alive 
to it, and does he draw the needful moral? The moral surely 
is that for all these pressing and vital services the natural and 
necessary ally of Liberalism is Labour. Lord Oxford would seem 
to deprecate and fear any such partnership. He dwells not on 
co-operation but on independence. Independence by all means, 
if by that is meant the independent search for truth, the shunning 
of the quack remedy, the discovery with labour and searching 
of the true. In this again Liberalism can render essential and 
unique service. It is bound by no preconceptions and shibboleths 
wearisomely repeated and never understood such as those which 
hamper and distract the counsels of Labour, and it is free from 
the disabling prejudices and shackles, the commitments to this 
interest and to that, which hamper and fotilise every effort even 
of the more well-meaning Conservatives, to evolve remedial 
policies of any force or value. If the general strike is the final 
condemnation of Labour sectionalism, the utterly futile and 
nerveless handling by the Conservative Government of the 
problem of the mines, which even a little political courage could 
long ago have solved, is no less the condemnation and exposure 
of the fatal disabilities of a Government resting on no solid basis 
of principle and public advantage in the conduct of even the 
most elementary duties of State. Truly there is room and to 
spare for a revived and aggressive Liberalism 



ON IRELAND 


LAWLESSNESS AS A POLICY 

(October nth, 1920) 

S omething is happening in Ireland which is new in our 
history — unexampled, at least, for more than a hundred 
years — but the Ireland of to-day is not the Ireland of 1798 and 
the listening world is not the same world. What was tolerated 
then in the way of lawless violence by the forces of the Crown, 
though even then not without strong protest from responsible 
British statesmen, will not be tolerated now. It is not for nothing 
that we have seen and reprobated German methods of frightfol- 
ness to terrorise a helpless enemy. We are not going to emulate 
them in our dealings with even the most rebellious of our fellow- 
countrymen. Nor are we going to accept this as the last word 
of statesmanship in dealing with by far the most important and 
urgent of our internal problems, a problem exceeding in im- 
portance and urgency any question of foreign policy whatever. 
Englishmen are at bottom resolved to do justice to Ireland. Still 
more arc they resolved in the process to keep their hands decently 
clean and their reputation in the world unsullied. That is where 
Mr. George is failing us. Let us take the simplest test — the test 
of fact as to murder and outrage by the forces of the Govern- 
ment, unchecked so far and unpunished by the Government, and 
by no single word reprobated by the Prime Minister. The fact 
is, as is known to all the world, including the Prime Minister, 
that, not once or twice, but in a score of quite recent cases, the 
murders of policemen — cowardly and brutal murders which 
every decent man must utterly condemn — have been followed 
by acts of wholesale and indiscriminate incendiarism and 
violence and by quite a definite number of cases in which men 
were deliberately seized, dragged from their beds or homes, and 

an 



212 


SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


shot. Nobody has been punished for these things. It is only 
within the last few days that (except for one abortive general 
order to the troops who are not chiefly involved) they have been 
even officially censured, and they are still going on, exactly as 
though such censure were not serious and might be quite safely 
ignored. What has Mr. George to say to this? Just nothing. 
Instead he pretends that what is really involved is the right of 
the police to defend themselves, to shoot when they are shot at, 
and to call on persons suspected of an intention to shoot to hold 
up their hands for examination of their pockets. He knows it 
is not so. He knows — nobody better — that these are not the 
things to which objection is taken. He knows that this is not 
what is called murder; he knows that real murder by the forces 
of the Government has been committed, and that no one high 
or low has even been censured. Yet he puts us off with this 
barefaced evasion. It will not avail. He is of all the members of 
the Government most responsible for these scandalous outrages, 
because he is by far the most powerful member of the Govern- 
ment. Why cannot he tell us honestly what he thinks of them ? 
His silence is his condemnation and that of his Government. 
He often talks of the greatness and glory of the country. Is its 
honour nothing to him ? 



THE IRISH TREATY 

(December 8th, 1921) 

I t is only by degrees that we shall realise the great change 
which has come over British politics by the settlement — we 
venture on the unqualified term — of the Irish question. It has 
been with us so long, it has entered so deeply into the very 
structure of our politics and even into the character of our 
national life, that its removal is like a change in the climate. 
Nothing henceforth can be as it was before. It may take some 
time for the change to make itself fully felt, but there it is, and 
more and more it will declare itself. To take a small thing first. 
There can henceforth no longer be a Unionist Party. The name 
has ceased to have a meaning since the thing which gave it birth 
has disappeared. When we think of what the great split of 1886 
has meant to the Liberal Party, of the long years during which 
it wandered in the wilderness, and of the bitter struggle through 
which it sought at long last but in vain to achieve its aim of 
Irish liberty, we must realise that it is a new political world indeed 
which secs this aim achieved, and achieved in fullest measure 
at the very moment of the party’s own defeat and weakness. 
The old party boundaries, largely submerged by the war, are now 
more than ever dislocated and overlaid by events. When we 
see Mr. Chamberlain, as leader of the Conservative Party, ap- 
pealing with earnestness and eloquence to Sir James Craig to 
bring his followers in Ulster into their place in the new Irish 
Free State; when we see also Lord Birkenhead utterly disavow- 
ing the traditional policy of his party and declaring that “ he 
would rather foil in translating the dream ” of a reconciled 
Ireland “ into reality than succeed in a policy discredited by 300 
years’ trial, the policy of complete coercion ”, which would “ still 
leave behind a bitter, estranged and hostile Ireland ’’—when 

2X3 



214 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

wc see all this we must indeed feel that the old boundaries have 
crumbled. 

These things are important not merely in their purely party 
aspect. They arc even more important in their wider implica- 
tions. What has happened is that a tremendous and far-reaching 
Liberal reform, a supreme act of Liberal statesmanship, has been 
carried through with the active support of men who hitherto 
have worked in the Conservative tradition. Does anyone suppose 
that Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Birkenhead, the “galloper” 
F. E. Smith of the old days, can be the same men after they have 
done this great thing as they were before they had done it? That 
would be strange indeed, and would go to show that the mind of 
man can be divided into such hard-and-fast compartments as 
have not hitherto been thought possible. For, be it observed, 
this is no case of merely conventional assent to a new policy from 
motives of political convenience. No one can read the speeches 
delivered by the two men at Birmingham on Tuesday without 
recognising the authentic note of sincerity. There is no honester 
man in politics than Mr. Chamberlain, and Lord Birkenhead 
spoke with all the fire and force of genuine conviction. It can 
hardly be but that their outlook on affairs is changed and the 
current of their sympathies altered. And the same thing is 
perhaps true of Mr. Lloyd George. The Irish peace is the crown- 
ing achievement of his career. It is the fulfilment of the earliest 
efforts and aspirations of his political life. It can hardly be but 
that it should recall him somewhat to that earlier tradition from 
which in these last days he has at times conspicuously departed, 
and that we may yet regain much of the fighter for all good 
Liberal causes. And what is true of the leaders is bound to react 
on the followers. It is hard to say how far the change may go 
with either, and no doubt plenty of the old Adam will survive. 
Yet there must be a change, a quickening, and surely much will 
be possible now which was not possible before. It is not for 
nothing that a moral and political miracle happens. 

Then there is the case of Ireland herself The r emarkab le 
article by Mr. Michael Collins which we published yesterday 
must not, of course, be taken as necessanly typical, because 



ON IRELAND 


215 

obviously Mr. Michael Collins is an exceptional man. He is a 
great fighter, but he is a bad hater, and he has, what the pro- 
fessional soldier rarely has, the steady outlook of the statesman. 
His article was not written after the settlement; it was written 
in the very thick of the debate, when the whole issue was un- 
certain. Yet his mind travelled right forward beyond the conflict 
of the moment, and the more terrible conflict which might yet 
follow it, to a vision of world peace, in which Ireland and 
Britain and the British — and Irish — daughter States and the 
United States itself, where Ireland counts for so much, should 
form a new confederation of friendly States, making a solid 
foundation for a yet larger unity. It is a fine vision, worthy of 
young Ireland entering on her inheritance, and showing what 
gifts for others she may bring in her hand. It is significant, too, 
of the new atmosphere of appeasement which may come from 
the healing of this old sore. It will not make for peace between 
this country and Ireland only; it will make itself felt far more 
widely. It will be felt in Washington, and there is not one of our 
Dominions where it will not bring a sense of relief. On our own 
policy also it must surely react. The problem of Egypt, the 
problem of India, cannot look quite the same in the light of the 
Irish example, and it has its lessons also for our whole policy in 
Europe. Ireland has her own problem of appeasement, which 
may test all her new-found statesmanship and strength. But 
there also there is hope. The quarrel between North and South 
in Ireland is not so old as that between Ireland and ourselves, 
and it should not prove more intractable. 



ON MEN AND MOVEMENTS 
WOODROW WILSON 

(February 4th, 1924) 

T he death of ex-President Wilson completes quietly, as 
nearly all great tragedy is completed, the most famous per- 
sonal tragedy of our time. We use the word tragedy in its strict 
sense of the wreck of something very noble, the breaking of a 
column really stately and the quenching of a veritable beacon 
light in dampness and smoke ; and all this not wholly by malign 
accident or the defection of weak friends or the cunning of 
enemies, but partly, too, through flaws in the fine steel of the 
victim’s own character, faults venial now in any generous eyes 
but fatal in the time of trial as the indecision that futilised Hamlet 
or the mystic self-assurance that led Caesar to extinction. At the 
time of the Armistice in 1918 President Wilson was the leader 
of the world which was crying out to be led. By bringing 
America into the war he had ensured its ultimate result, and he 
had done wonders of political wisdom in timing her entry so 
well that virtually the whole of her entered. He seemed slow to 
many passionate friends of ours like Page, the great ambassador 
of the United States in London, whose friendship in our time 
of danger ought to be remembered in England as long as the 
war. But probably Wilson knew that the war could not have 
been a truly national one for Americans if they had joined in it 
sooner than they did. And then, when the Allied victories of 
the autumn of 1918 had made Germany’s early collapse certain, 
it was Wilson whose famous Fourteen Points opened to the 
conquerors and the conquered the prospect of a peace honour- 
able to both and not ruinous to what was left of the civilisation 
of Europe. The population of Germany believed that the Four- 
teen Points were an honest offer of terms morally binding on the 

216 



ON MEN AND MOVEMENTS 


217 

Allies. In their relief from fear of a peace of savage vengeance 
they threw off their militarist rulers, conveyed their own will-to- 
peace to their men in the field, and asked the Allies for an 
armistice. No words can describe the thrill of enthusiastic 
delight that passed through our own armies, too, when the 
Fourteen Points became known to them. Here was peace, it 
seemed, about to come in the inspiring form at first proclaimed 
by all as our object and then almost lost to sight during the 
souring years of indecisive warfare soiled with foul weapons and 
unknightly spites. 

When Wilson came to Europe for the Conference, his place in 
popular imagination and hope throughout Europe was beyond 
all precedent. If by any miracle he could then have dealt, face 
to face, with the masses of decent, friendly, and simple people 
who form the bulk of every nation, a new era of peace and well- 
being might have opened for the world. But at Versailles he 
had not peoples to deal with but a few politicians fatally barred 
by their own past from acceptance of the rule of being just and 
fearing not. Some had already bound their countries over, by 
furtive treaties, to carry out bargains that would not square with 
the Fourteen Points, or indeed with any honourable rules of 
international conduct. French politicians had, on their country’s 
behalf, gambled so heavily on the wild hope of wringing fantastic 
sums out of a Germany already half-starved that now the 
alternatives seemed to be French national bankruptcy or the 
repudiation of the Fourteen Points by which Germany had been 
persuaded to abridge her resistance. The Prime Minister of 
England had just won his commission to make the peace by a 
demagogic appeal to faith in his power of “ making Germany 
pay ”. In the cool, quiet rooms of Versailles, with all the 
generous relcntments and chivalrous or Christian impulses that 
were then stirring in Europe safely outside the shut doors, 
Wilson had to deal alone with that entangled, sophisticated, and 
materialist diplomatic world which so many Americans believe 
to be Europe, the whole of Europe, and nothing but Europe. 
It beat him. But what could he have done ? Thrown up his hand 
and walked out when first the honourable undertakings of the 



218 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

Fourteen Points were repudiated by the others? But that would 
have been to throw away the last hopes of his dearest project of 
all, the League of Nations; the others only paid it lip homage; 
they did not ardently wish or intend its success; still, they might 
agree to its formal creation as an equivalent to his acquiescence 
in the wrongs that they specially desired to commit; and then, 
the League once established, with America a leader in it and in- 
fusing her free and uninfected spirit into it, the world might at 
last be well on the way to a true democracy of free nations. 
Wilson gave in. To gain, as he hoped, something splendid for 
the world, he first agreed to let the peace-making go on in the 
dark. And then in that darkness he accepted, with the same 
lofty motive, complicity in the ignoble peace of revenge which 
has given us the Europe that we see to-day. 

It was only after the bitter sacrifice had been consummated and 
Wilson had signed a peace abhorrent to the principles of right 
for which he had stood up that the smashing blow came. Out 
of the wreck of his generous leadership among the Allies 
nothing was left but the Covenant of the League of Nations. 
Still, in it were boundless possibilities for beneficent American 
predominance in the world’s councils. And then all of 
Wilsonism that Europe had not destroyed America threw over 
when the Senate rejected the Covenant. Perhaps the two most 
tragically closed of modern political careers before Wilson’s were 
Parnell’s and Joseph Chamberlain’s. Both presented in foil 
measure the essential tragic spectacle of a powerful personality 
wholly given to a greater object than personal ambition, and 
wholly wrecked by a casual passion or a faulty calculation. But 
in no case has the Lucifer-like fall from great power and 
brilliant distinction to impotence and decay been set off with 
so many intensifying circumstances as in the tragedy of Wilson. 
For his stage was not a country, but the world; his opportunity 
was such as, perhaps, the world never before gave to a man, and 
the completeness of his collapse was made surpassingly poignant 
by the circumstance that in his eagerness to achieve at least one 
half of his ideal he had let himself desert the other half, and 
then lost all. We do not know enough to try to define here the 



ON MEN AND MOVEMENTS 


219 

failings in Wilson’s equipment which contributed to his calamity. 
That he was incompletely endowed for his almost superhuman 
task seems to be the general opinion of those who knew him. But 
in a terribly soiled political world he was a most honest and high- 
minded leader; at a crisis in human civilisation he was the man 
who told mankind most truly and clearly the right way and the 
wrong; and already most of those, at any rate in Europe, who 
pushed him aside can sec now that he knew better than they and 
was a better man. 



LORD COURTNEY 

(May 13th, 1918) 

W ith the death of Lord Courtney there passes from us 
as noble and austere a figure as the public life of the past 
century has produced. In intellect, in political judgment, in 
unshakable adhesion to what he deemed the right, in the search 
for truth and reverence for justice — in all these things he stood 
out a hero among men and politicians. Personalities so strong, 
so individual, and so uncompromising are not apt to be popular, 
and, though no man could in private life be more kindly or more 
lovable, it was his fate as a public man to be the mentor rather 
than the idol of his age. Such men are extraordinarily valuable 
in any State, but above all in a democratic State and in one 
governed by public opinion. He never hesitated to confront 
opinion, and he never failed, in support of his own view, to 
produce reasons and facts which, whether accepted or not, could 
not be ignored. Thus, when he became a Unionist he remained 
to the marrow of his bones in essence a Liberal, and, while sitting 
on the Tory benches, he was perhaps the most effective critic in 
the House of Toryism, far more feared, and for that reason 
perhaps more disliked, by his company than anyone whose 
assaults could be ascribed to party motives. He ought by every 
title of character and capacity to have been elected Speaker of 
thc House, but he had rolled Mr. Chamberlain in the argumen- 
tative dust, and it was not forgiven him. The causes he had most 
deeply at heart were unpopular causes, the sort of causes which 
are apt to earn for their professors the name and the odium of 
“ crank He was an upholder of the rights of a small people 
when almost everybody else imagined they could be safely 
ignored; he was an upholder of peace when the people desired 
war; he advocated with earnestness the political rights of women 

through a whole generation of mockery; he was the convinced 

220 



ON MEN AND MOVEMENTS 


221 


and persistent exponent of a system of representation which 
Mr. Lloyd George professes himself unable to understand. 
Events at long last have justified him in all but the last of his 
eccentricities, and who shall say that here, too, he will not be 
justified? Truly a very wise and strong and far-seeing man. 
When shall we look upon his like again ? 



183O 

A DRAPERY ADVERTISEMENT 



PALESTINE AND THE JEWS. 

THE BALFOUR DECLARATION 

(November 9th, 1917) 

I T is an accident, but a happy accident, that the important 
declaration of the Government on the subject of the future 
of Palestine should appear on the morrow of the British military 
successes in that profoundly interesting and important country. 
We speak of Palestine as a country, but it is not a country; it is at 
present litde more than a small district of the vast Ottoman 
tyranny. But it will be a country; it will be the country of the 
Jews. That is the meaning of the letter which we publish to-day, 
written by Mr. Balfour to Lord Rothschild for communication 
to the Zionist Federation. It is at once the fulfilment of an 
aspiration, the signpost of a destiny. Never since the days of the 
Dispersion has the extraordinary people scattered over the earth 
in every country of modern European and of the old Arabic 
civilisation surrendered the hope of an ultimate return to the 
historic seat of its national existence. This has formed part of its 
ideal life, and is the ever-recurring note of its religious ritual. 
And if, like other aspirations and religious ideals which time 
has perhaps worn thin and history has debarred from the 
vitalising contact of reality, it has grown to be something of a 
convention, something which you may pray for and dream 
about, but not a thing which belongs to the efforts and energies 
of this everyday world; that is only what was to be expected, 
and in no degree detracts from the critical importance of its 
entry to that world and the translation of its religious frith into 
the beginnings at least of achievement. For that is what the 
formal and considered declaration of policy by the British 
Government means. For fifty years the Jews have been slowly 

and painfully returning to their ancestral home, and even under 

222 



ON MEN AND MOVEMENTS 


223 

the Ottoman yoke and amid the disorder of that effete and 
crumbling dominion they have succeeded in establishing the 
beginnings of a real civilisation. Scattered and few, they have 
still brought with them schools and industry and scientific know- 
ledge, and here and there have in truth made the waste places 
blossom as the rose. But for all this there was no security, and 
the progress, supported as it was financially by only a small 
section of the Jewish people and by a few generous and wealthy 
persons, was necessarily as slow as it was precarious. The example 
of Armenia and the wiping out of a population fifty-fold that 
of the Jewish colonies in Palestine was a terrible warning of 
what might at any time be in store for these. The Great War 
has brought a turning-point. The return of the Turk in vic- 
torious power would spell ruin; the rescue of this and the 
neighbouring lands from Turkish misrule was the first con- 
dition of security and hope. The British victories in Palestine 
and in the more distant eastern bounds of the ancient Arab 
empire are the presage of the downfall of Turkish power; the 
declaration of policy by the British Government to-day is the 
security for a new, perhaps a very wonderful, future for Zionism 
and for the Jewish race. 

Not that it is to be supposed that progress in such a movement 
can be other than slow. Nor does the British Government take 
any responsibility for it beyond the endeavour to render it 
possible. In declaring that “ the British Government view with 
favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the 
Jewish people, and will use its best endeavours to facilitate the 
achievement of this object ”, the Government have indeed laid 
down a policy of great and far-reaching importance, but it is 
one which can bear its full fruit only by the united efforts of 
Jews all over the world. What it means is that, assuming our 
military successes to be continued and the whole of Palestine to 
be brought securely under our control, then on the conclusion of 
peace our deliberate policy will be to encourage in every way in 
our power Jewish immigration, to give full security, and no 
doubt a large measure of local autonomy, to the Jewish immi- 
grants, with a view to the ultimate establishment of a Jewish 



SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 


224 

State. Nothing is said, for nothing can at present be said, as to 
the precise form of control during the period of transition, which 
may be a long one. Doubtless the form of government, or 
ultimate authority, would be similar to that which may be set 
up in other and neighbouring regions from which the authority 
of the Ottoman Government may be removed. Palestine has a 
special importance for Great Britain, because in the hands of a 
hostile Power it can be made, as our experience in this war has 
shown, a secure base from which a land attack on Egypt can be 
organised. The attack in this war has been feeble because the 
preparations were wholly inadequate and the force ill-organised. 
But with a European Power in possession it might easily be made 
infinitely more formidable, and might even make our position 
in Egypt untenable. Our interest, and practically our sole par- 
ticular interest, in Palestine is that this danger should be effec- 
tually guarded against, and that no Power should be seated in 
Palestine which is or under any circumstances is likely to be 
hostile to this country. That condition would be fulfilled by a 
protectorate exercised by this country alone or in conjunction 
with, say the United States, or by the United States alone, or by 
an international body designating us as its mandatory on con- 
ditions to be mutually agreed. Such may be the ultimate 
development of our policy, but in any case the fundamental 
principle now laid down will condition it. We recognise, and 
we shall continue to recognise, the Holy Land as the “ national 
home of the Jewish people 

Other conditions are involved, and are stated or implied in 
the present declaration. The existing Arab population of 
Palestine is small and at a low stage of civilisation. It contains 
within itself none of the elements of progress, but it has its 
rights, and these must be carefully respected. This is clearly laid 
down in the letter, which declares that “ nothing shall be done 
which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing 
communities in Palestine There is, again, the question of the 
custody of the Holy Places, in which Russia and France are 
alike warmly interested. This is not expressly referred to, but 
will undoubtedly have to be carefully considered, and, with 



ON MEN AND MOVEMENTS 


225 

goodwill, should present no difficulties. The final words of the 
letter may not, at the first glance, be perfectly intelligible. Not 
only are the rights of existing communities in Palestine to be 
protected, but it is also declared that “ the political status enjoyed 
by Jews in any other countries ” are in no way to be prejudiced. 
That may appear a rather far-fetched precaution against an 
imaginary danger, and so perhaps it is. But if anxiety is any- 
where felt on this score, it is well that, so far as we are con- 
cerned, it should be allayed. And anxiety, though it may not be 
widespread, no doubt there is. It is feared that Jews who have 
made their home in foreign lands and have accepted to the full 
the new allegiance may suffer in esteem, if not actually in 
political status, by the creation of a distinctive Jewish State, and 
may come, in a new sense, to be regarded as aliens. No such 
danger can possibly arise in this country or any other country 
which, like die United States, welcomes its Jewish citizens on a 
footing of absolute equality. In countries where anti-Semitism 
still prevails it is not likely to be given a fresh edge, but the risk, 
such as it is, must be run, and it is to be feared the declaration in 
the letter cannot prevent it, though it constitutes a protest in 
which, at the Peace Conference, other Powers may be invited to 
join. But in any case what is this for the Jewish race compared 
to the hope and the promise of re-entry on their birthright? A 
small people they must be, for Palestine will hold but perhaps 
one-fourth of the scattered Jewish race; but they were a very 
small people when they gave two religions to the world, and, 
seated in their old land, they may yet become the vital link 
between East and West, between the old world and the new. 


p 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. 

THE MONTAGU REPORT 

(July 6th, 1918) 

W e publish to-day a full summary of the recommenda- 
tions of the Montagu Commission’s Report on the 
Government of India. The Report itself is a long and extremely 
able document of nearly two hundred Blue-book pages, dealing 
not merely with the changes needed in the structure of Indian 
government, but with the history of its development and the 
conditions of Indian society in relation to which any changes 
now made must be considered. It deals with all the main aspects 
of this vast and supremely important subject — with local self- 
government in so far as it has already been called into existence, 
with the governments of the provinces into which India is 
divided, with the central government and its relation to the pro- 
vincial governments and to the Secretary of State and Parlia- 
ment, with the reform movement in India and the proposals of 
the Indian National Congress, with the governments of the 
Native States, with the fundamental principles on which the 
development of free institutions in India should proceed, with 
the method of advance, and with the possibilities of the future. 
But the scale and the complexity of the inquiry must not be 
allowed to deter interest or unduly to delay action. This is no 
ordinary inquiry and, whatever the fate of some investigations 
consigned to oblivion in Blue-books, no such fate can attend this. 
The mighty argument once entered upon must be steadily 
pursued and courageously concluded. There need be no undue 
haste; there must be no sort of unnecessary delay. Any Govern- 
ment which provoked such an issue and then sought to evade it 
would sign its own death-warrant. This, we are convinced, is 

recognised by all who have any share of responsibility in this 

226 



ON MEN AND MOVEMENTS 


IT] 

great matter. It will supply the final test of capacity, of courage, 
and of statesmanship. 

It may be thought that a problem so great and so critical 
cannot properly be dealt with in the midst of the overwhelming 
preoccupations of war, and that its solution should be postponed 
to more leisurely times. It cannot be. It is precisely the war and 
India’s part in the war which have given the question its urgency 
by awakening the pride, and in a real sense the national self- 
consciousness of India, no less than by the contagion of the very 
principles of democracy and the political rights of peoples, for 
which it has been proclaimed far and wide that the war is by 
us being fought. But the question is no longer open to argument. 
When, on August 20 last, the momentous declaration was made 
in die House of Commons that the policy of the Government, 
with which the Government of India was in full accord, was 
that of “ the gradual development of self-governing institutions 
with a view to the progressive realisation of responsible govern- 
ment in India as an integral part of the British Empire ” the die 
was cast. No such promise can be made and its fulfilment then 
indefinitely postponed. The despatch of the Montagu Com- 
mission was the immediate result, and the further steps needed 
for giving effect to our declared policy must follow in due course 
and with no unnecessary delay. Yet it must be admitted that no 
more momentous and difficult constructive task was ever under- 
taken by a governing Power. “ Self-government ” might have 
been understood as implying simply the transfer of the control 
of the machine of government from a British bureaucracy to one 
mainly or wholly composed of Indians, with the mass of the 
population taking, as at present, practically no part in the conduct 
of affairs; in other words, the substitution of one oligarchy for 
another. “ Responsible government ” means something much 
larger and more difficult, but also full of a far greater and more 
enduring promise. It is the well-understood term for the largest 
measure of popular and representative government in a colony 
or Dominion. It is so understood by the Commission, and it is 
to this and to no less lofty a goal that all its recommendations are 
directed. The goal is necessarily distant, but its recognition 



228 SOME WRITINGS OF C. P. SCOTT 

makes all the difference to the scheme of reform now proposed 
and to all the steps hereafter to be taken in its future develop- 
ment. We are now to lay the foundation on which the whole 
fabric of Indian government must hereafter rest. It may be said, 
and no doubt it will be said, that the materials do not exist, 
that responsible government implies an electorate capable of 
exercising it, and that such an electorate has in India yet to be 
created; that, moreover, the whole conception of popular or 
representative government, or democracy as it is understood in 
this country and in other Western countries who have in large 
degree accepted our model, is alien to Eastern ideas and in- 
capable of transplantation and effective growth in Eastern soil. 
It may be so, but it has yet to be proved that it is so. Some sur- 
prising developments have taken place of late years in the 
Eastern mind and in Eastern institutions, of which Japan 
furnishes the most striking examples, and the old confident 
commonplaces of the “ East is East and West is West ” kind 
have received some rude shakes. Nevertheless, the magnitude 
and difficulty of our task are as obvious as its novelty and 
courage, and progress, as was stated in the August declaration, 
can only be tentative and gradual. 

It is a great experiment. ... It may not satisfy the more 
extreme Nationalist demand, but it is far more democratic than 
the scheme of the Congress, which looks rather to the substitu- 
tion of an Indian for a British directorate than to the extension of 
governing powers to new classes of the community. While 
farther inquiry will no doubt suggest improvements, it will, we 
should hope, be recognised by all the more stable elements of 
Indian opinion for what it is — one of the boldest and most far- 
reaching schemes of enfranchisement ever proposed. It will 
meet with plenty of opposition from those who dislike and dread 
the whole principle of self-government on which it is based; it 
ought to receive no less energetic support from those to meet 
whose hopes and needs it is designed. 



6 


THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN 
SINCE SCOTT 


C. P. SCOTT’S SUCCESSORS 

F or ten years before C. P. Scott’s death the editor-designate 
had been his third son, E. T. Scott. His eldest son, Laurence, 
had died in 1908, after a short but promising career on the paper. 
His second son, John, had become its business manager. Edward 
Scott (born 1883) had joined the staff in 1912 and, after an 
interval of war service (during which he became a prisoner in 
Germany), took more and more responsibility in the conduct 
of the paper. C. P. Scott formally handed over the editorship 
in July 1929, but E. T. Scott filled it for barely three years. He 
lost his life in a boating accident on Windermere on April 22, 
1932, less than four months after his father’s death. 

Overshadowed, even cramped, for so long by the prestige and 
authority of his father, Edward had little chance to display his 
great qualities of command and leadership. Yet none who knew 
him could doubt that in him the paper would have had an editor 
as firm in purpose as C. P. Scott, and fully as independent in 
judgment. He combined the gifts of a good man of business 
and a writer and reasoner of strength with a character of singular 
charm. The thing that stands out most in one’s memories of him 
is his intellectual honesty. He never wrote or thought as a 
party man or the follower of this or that economic school. He 
was uninfluenced by authority or expediency. His conclusions 
were often unexpected, not to say daring, but they were those of a 



THE GUARDIAN SINCE SCOTT 


230 

mind remarkably free from prejudice, open to welcome the 
heretical, and always logical and searching in its processes. The 
integrity of his intellectual judgment was as great an inspira- 
tion to his colleagues in its way as was the nobility of his father’s 
humanism. For twenty years, with the brief interval of the war, 
he gave himself to the paper; after an apprenticeship under an 
exacting master he succeeded, as his father’s grip slackened, to 
increasing responsibilities and cares. The issues of the ’twenties 
had become more economic than political and Edward Scott 
handled them with a mastery that concealed great pains. His 
knowledge, for instance, of the intricacies of the reparations 
controversy was profound, and it was a joy to see him puncture 
the ingenuities of a Churchillian Budget or chart a conciliatory 
course of humane principle in the jungle of the great mining 
disputes. He left his mark on the paper especially in the broaden- 
ing of its financial services, the extension of its treatment of 
economic and industrial subjects, and the establishment of its 
subsidiaries, the Manchester Guardian Weekly and the Man- 
chester Guardian Commercial, with its well-known Reconstruc- 
tion and other supplements. 

E. T. Scott was succeeded as editor by W. P. Crozier who had 
then been on the paper for twenty-eight years, and who was to 
direct it for another twelve. Crozier’s influence on its structure, 
if not on its policy, began long before his editorship, became 
apparent towards the end of the first world war, and increased 
steadily throughout the following years. Beginning in the sub- 
editors’ room, he was after a few months given charge of the 
foreign news, which every year was becoming more and more 
important and to which the paper had always given greater 
attention than any of its contemporaries outside London. After 
making his mark here he was added to the leader-writing staff. 
While continuing his work as a leader-writer Crozier next 
accepted the post of news editor, a comparatively new rank in 
the journalistic hierarchy and one hitherto unknown in the 
Guardian office. From the outset he planned to modernise the 
paper and it is not too much to say that in the course of the next 
ten years he transformed it. The responsibility for the innova- 



C. P. SCOTT’S SUCCESSORS 


231 

tions was, of course, shared; often it was C. P. Scott or E. T. 
Scott who suggested their general idea, but it fell in the main 
to Crozier to carry them out. 

Thus foreign correspondents were appointed in the principal 
countries — foil time representatives in Paris, Berlin, Vienna and 
Rome, and other regular correspondents in the Dominions, the 
United States, Russia, Poland, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Egypt, 
China, India. Crozier organised the whole of this service and 
kept in constant touch with the men who provided it. Letters 
to the Editor had always been a notable feature of the paper 
under Scott, but Crozier when he became editor developed it 
and gave it greater prominence. The principle of catholicity 
was carefully preserved; the columns were never allowed to be 
one-sided. 

In pictures and maps Crozier again followed the Scott policy, 
but developed it enormously. The picture pages were particu- 
larly notable for their views of rural England. Only the other 
day an American reader wrote pleading for more of them; he 
had, he said, come to love the English countryside through 
Guardian photographs, although he had never seen it. 

The greatest reform Crozier brought about in the structure of 
the paper was in classification. To keep the same kind of news 
or article in the same place every day may seem a simple matter 
but it is really most difficult under conditions of daily paper 
production. It is easy enough to fill the pages anyhow by shovel- 
ling in the type as it becomes ready until they will hold no more 
— that was the usual nineteenth-century practice with most news- 
papers — but it is far harder to classify the material for these pages, 
to fit it in to comply with a pre-arranged plan, and yet to prevent 
the “ make-up ” from having a formal, stereotyped appearance . 1 
The task calls for the active co-operation of many hands and 
firm control at the heacl. 

The Guardian had always concerned itself with the interests 
of women, political and other, but it came only reluctantly to 
the idea of a “ women’s ” or “ home ” page. Crozier gave much 
thought and labour to this new feature. Newspapers as a whole 
were slow to realise that the public would be as much interested 



THE GUARDIAN SINCE SCOTT 


232 

in criticism of the new forms of entertainment provided by the 
cinema and broadcasting as they had long been in the criticism 
of plays, music-halls and concerts. Notices of films are universal 
now, but when Crozier introduced them they were a novelty 
and it was some time before other papers saw their news-value. 
Much the same thing can be said about broadcasting in the 
critical appreciation of which the Guardian was almost an 
innovator. Other ways in which the paper widened its appeal, 
either on Crozier’s initiative or with his encouragement, were 
a great extension of the space devoted to sport, especially at the 
schools and universities, weekly articles on motoring and bridge, 
detailed reports of all important chess tournaments at home 
and abroad, and a daily crossword puzzle. 

It remains to point out wherein Crozier resembled his great 
predecessor and wherein he differed from him. Both had a deep 
attachment to Oxford and tended to look to their old university 
for recruits. Both were convinced Liberals; both were conscious 
of a mission “ to make righteousness readable ”, but determined 
that no appeals to vulgar prejudice or to debased appetites should 
be used to attract the crowds. Both wrote good plain English 
and enjoined it on their staff and disliked equally the cliches 
of journalese and literary preciosity. Almost alone among 
editors Scott began his wonderful career at the top, whereas 
Crozier had served for years in the ranks. This gave him the 
advantage of knowing from personal experience how each 
department did its work and what its difficulties were. There 
was no task that fell to the journalist that he could not do himself, 
and do extremely well — from reporting a football match to 
devising make-up, from writing a weekly record of the progress 
of a war to cutting down the contribution of a long-winded 
correspondent. He had a passion for terseness and a horror of 
verbiage, and would quote with approval Scott’s remark to him : 

“ Depend upon it, Crozier, there is very little written for a news- 
paper that would not be improved by being made shorter.” 

Some twenty years agq, in the days of his news-editorship, 
this estimate of Crozier’s influence on the paper was written 
by a colleague : 



C. P. SCOTT’S SUCCESSORS 


233 

He suggests a wheel of immense importance in a highly compli- 
cated machine, revolving steadily and remorselessly and causing 
a multitude of other wheels, great and small, to revolve with it. It 
is hard for the younger generation to realise that the machine used 
to work and the light to shine without him; and yet they 
undoubtedly did. Perhaps the truth is that the extra wheel has 
made the machine run a little faster, and that the old illuminant 
glows more brightly through a clearer glass. Perhaps it is rather 
more than this. Turn up the files of fifteen or twenty years ago 
and compare them with those of to-day. It is as though a Wels- 
bach mande had been slipped over a Bunsen burner. 

This is a professional judgment which the journalist at least 
will appreciate. In the twelve years of Crozier’s editorship the 
Guardian kept its place as an independent organ of opinion and 
held its own technically in a period of rapid change in methods 
of newspaper production. It was the paper’s good fortune to 
have at its head in those years a “ working journalist ” of some- 
thing approaching genius. 

"Xrozier died on April 16, 1944, and was succeeded as editor 
by A. P. Wadsworth, who had been a member of the staff since 
1917: first as reporter, then as industrial correspondent, leader- 
writer and assistant editor. 



LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


T he Manchester Guardian, when Scott came to it, had long 
been cautiously Whig. It looked on the rising Radicalism 
of the late ’sixties and ’seventies with scepticism, even distaste. 
It would have none of payment of members (that would 
“ degrade politics to a trade ”) or women’s suffrage; it disliked 
the secret ballot. But it was reconciled to compulsory education, 
more State intervention (in the interests of safety) for mines and 
railways, more factory legislation, more stringent laws on public 
health. The paper was borne along on the broad current of 
developing Liberal feeling, but without enthusiasm. In 1872 it 
could rebuke Sir George Trevelyan for making extravagant 
promises of social reform — “even Conservatism, if sober, is 
better than Liberalism drunk.” Yet it had no sympathy with 
those who thought it “ incredibly shocking ” that working men 
should seek to enter Parliament; the nation would not be a great 
loser if the entry of a few artisans into the House tended to 
impair its “ clubbable character ”. There was, it admitted, the 
danger that working men might become delegates, not repre- 
sentatives, and if enough of them were delegated from “ trade 
societies ” there might be class legislation of an intolerable kind. 
Still, that seemed remote, and the risks were worth running. 
Towards organised labour the Guardian was cold and a little 
fearful. It remembered the Sheffield “outrages”; “trade 
agitators ” were a menace, and the demand for shorter hours 
futile. It could “ confidently be asserted (in 1871) that no law 
of the land will ever be able to restrict hours to nine a day ”; it 
would be “ unjust, oppressive and finally inoperative ”. 

A few months later the finality of economic prophecy was 
tempered about nine hours, but still held about eight. Twenty 
years later the same columns could approve the eight-hour day 
of the New Unionism as a fine ideal and support the miners’ 
Eight Hour Bill as “ a measure for the expansion of industrial 

*34 



LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


235 

freedom The Guardian had become positive instead of 
negative. It had been lukewarm towards Chamberlainite 
Radicalism, but by 1885 it had come to hold that “ Radicals and 
Moderates are equally necessary to each other ... the fault of the 
Radical is that perhaps he has too much faith, that of the modern 
Liberal that he has too little.” And in the next decade it came 
to range itself ever more deliberately with the men of faith. 

The effective beginnings of the modern Labour movement 
lie in these years and, as has been elsewhere described, the 
Guardian treated the new forces with a sympathy and fairness 
that were far in advance of the bulk of Liberal opinion. It 
adopted most of the Radical measures, many of which it had 
formerly opposed, and (in 1892) could treat the differences 
between Mr. Sidney Webb and “ any ordinary Liberal ” as lying 
“ more in the latter’s dislike to commit himself to the reasoned 
Collectivist faith which Mr. Webb finds necessary, than in 
hostility to his suggestions for legislation ”. It saw no inherent 
conflict and every cause for association between the more 
vigorous Liberalism and the rising Socialism. 

So much recent writing about the history of the modern social 
movement has been a rather naive recital of the “ inevitability 
of gradualness ” that it is easy to forget that to the Progressive 
of that day the ’nineties were a time of reaction. The sixteen 
years between 1886 and 1902 had something in common with 
our later two decades between the wars. The period, as Hob- 
house wrote, 

witnessed an ebb of Liberal ideas, not in this country alone, but 
throughout the world. It was a time in which the older conceptions 
of civil, political and religious liberty lost their vital force; when 
the middle class, frightened by the first murmurings of Socialism 
from the cause of progress, and satisfied with the rights which 
they themselves had won, transferred their influence to the side 
of established order when the dominant social philosophy of the 
day confronted the plea for justice and equality with the doctrine 
that progress depends on the survival of the stronger in the struggle 
for existence. The idealism which is essential to modem nations 
was diverted from the cause of social reform to that of imperial 
expansion. 



236 the GUARDIAN SINCE SCOTT 

But it was in this disheartening time of “ revolt against the 
Liberal idea ”, when Liberalism itself was divided and confused, 
that the Guardian found its soul and achieved its influence. It 
had the satisfaction of having contributed in no small part to the 
great revival of Liberalism when it came in 1906. 

Scott, however, never conceived of Liberalism as a strictly party 
affair. He, and those who wrote under him, thought always 
in terms of what he called “ the progressive movement What 
was important was that those who were agreed on reforming 
measures should work together to secure them. In the days of 
Liberal strength this implied toleration for the rising Labour 
minority. When, in the years just before 1914, Labour began to 
assume a new aggressiveness, Scott was pleading for “ frank and 
intimate co-operation ” between those “ two divisions of the 
same army and not least because the Labour members showed 
themselves “ the very best Liberals ” in the House. If their 
interests in the constituencies clashed, the way of accommoda- 
tion lay through Proportional Representation; “ there would 
then be no question of Labour men having to vote for Liberals 
or Liberals for Labour men under penalty of handing over the 
seat to an anti-progressive utterly unacceptable to both of them ”. 
But the Liberal Party, when it had the opportunity, did not take 
Scott’s advice — perhaps the cardinal mistake of its history. 

The end of the war of 1914-18 broke the Liberal Party, but 
established the Labour Party as an independent force. Scott now 
turned, until the end of his life, to preaching the simple practical 
doctrine of co-operation as the only way of saving the country 
from Conservative domination. This he saw as the more neces- 
sary because the unhappy divisions of Liberalism — first during 
and after the Coalition, then over the general strike, then over 
the crisis of 1931 — weakened the Liberal wing of the “ party of 
progress ”. 

It is impossible in any broad way to dissociate Liberalism from 
Labour [he wrote in November 1922] . They have the same root 
in aspiration and purpose, the same resolve at all cost to place the 
welfare of the community above that of any class — Labour as 
representing by far the most numerous class may sometimes tend 
to forget this, but not for long — the same sense of community with 



LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


237 

other nations as opposed to a narrow and exclusive nationalism. 
They may, and often will, differ as to the wisest means, but their 
aims do not differ. At present they arc forced into an unnatural 
antagonism by the limitations of an antiquated electoral system 
wholly unsuited to the needs of the day, but the moment that is 
reformed and proportional representation gives U9 a true mirror 
of the nation the truth will emerge. Between them Liberalism 
and Labour constitute the party of progress in this country. They 
may never combine, but they should always understand, and in 
the main support, each other. 

The Liberal Party, he argued, must make itself more 
Radical. There were some who played with the idea of an 
anti-Socialist Centre party, but “ Liberalism, unless it be con- 
structive, is a barren and an impotent thing, and, reunion or 
no reunion, its destiny is the dust-heap 
The defeat of the Baldwin Government at the end of 1923 
brought Scott’s prescription to the test. For months he had 
been preparing the way, and there are grounds for thinking 
that his influence and his persistent advocacy of Liberal- 
Labour co-operation were decisive in determining the action 
of the Liberal Party. Lloyd George, at least, afterwards said 
that MacDonald owed his office to Scott, and that the Liberal 
leaders (apart from Lloyd George) first toyed with the idea 
of taking office themselves with Conservative support. There 
were some days of uncertainty before Asquith took the line 
of independence. Scott, of course, wanted much more than 
that. He tried hard to build a bridge between MacDonald and 
the Liberals and to establish a working agreement. MacDonald 
was touchy and suspicious; even then he had a greater affinity 
for Conservatives than Liberals. Scott rose superior to rebuffs; 
party was secondary. “ For what, after all, does the Liberal Party 
exist? Is it not in order to carry Liberal measures, and if it can 
carry them by the aid of the Labour Party, or if the Labour Party 
can carry them by its aid, why are they to be regarded as in any 
way the worse? ” Throughout the short lifetime of the Labour 
Government he argued forcefully for this co-operation. “ What 
smallne ss of spirit is it which would repudiate friends because 
they may one day become rivals? ” The failure of the experi- 



THE GUARDIAN SINCE SCOTT 


238 

mcnt was a bitter disappointment, all the more keen because 
the collapse was so unnecessary. 

In the years between the first and the second Labour Govern- 
ments the Manchester Guardian kept constantly to its theme of 
the working alliance, though neither side regarded it with much 
favour, and Scott was often reproached for his iteration of a 
doctrine which was not palatable to party men. The general 
strike did not weaken Scott’s insistence on this counsel of reason. 
He refused to take the ultra-legalist line or to treat the strike as 
a revolutionary act. As may be seen from his comments on 
Asquith’s political farewell (given elsewhere in this book) and 
from a speech at the National Liberal Club in the autumn of 
1926, he was not stampeded by fear of trade union excesses; a 
working alliance with Labour was better than Toryism. The 
paper had given strong support to the Liberal intellectual revival 
which found expression in the Liberal Yellow Book of 1928, and 
to Lloyd George’s new Radicalism. Scott welcomed this with 
enthusiasm. The scales, however, were weighted against the Left 
unless die Left would combine. As the Baldwin Government 
was drawing to its close, he looked forward with keenness to a 
new period of progressive alliance. “ In making choice of an 
ally,” he wrote in February, 1929, “ shall we not be compelled 
to look rather to those with whom we largely agree than to those 
whom it is our first object to get rid of ? ” And when the Labour 
Government was formed, in the last political leader he wrote, 
he warned against a repetition of the disaster of 1924 : “ We have 
at present in power a Government which on the whole we can 
trust alike for a sane policy abroad and a progressive policy at 
home.” 

Under other hands, but with Scott’s approval, the Manchester 
Guardian gave critical support to the Labour Government until 
the storm of 1931 overwhelmed it. The binding thread held 
even then. The paper viewed with the gravest misgivings the 
Liberal Party’s continuance in the National Government after 
the election. At the election it gave its support to those can- 
didates, whether Liberal or Labour, who opposed a Government 
under Conservative domination. Again, in 1935 — and in 1945 — 



LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


239 

it applied the same pragmatic test of how best to secure a Pro- 
gressive against a Conservative majority. The Guardian wel- 
comed the War Coalition of 1940, as it had welcomed the 
Coalitions of 1915 and 1917, because it was the best means of 
winning the war, and gave the Government unstinted, if critical, 
support. It viewed the break-up of that magnificent partnership 
with regret, but once the decision had been taken and a “ peace 
election ” called (as in 1918) it held that the national fortunes 
were better entrusted to the parties of the Left than to those of 
the Right. And when the verdict was given, the paper could not 
fail to be gratified that, on the whole, the “ Progressive move- 
ment ” had won. The “ silent revolution ” of the ballot-box 
which had confounded all the prophets it regarded as “ the kind 
of Progressive opportunity that comes only once in every few 
generations ”. 

The Guardian has now been politically, for sixty years, a paper 
of “ the Left ”. The period has seen many party vicissitudes. 
The Conservative Party has twice suffered crushing defeat. 
Labour, the last comer, was almost extinguished in 1931. 
The Liberals, in eclipse in the ’nineties, had their great day under 
C.B. and Asquith, and then twenty-five years of schism and 
electoral decline. They are now much weaker in Parliament 
than was the new force of Labour when it first emerged as a 
party group in 1906. But they represent, on any true reflection, a 
body of opinion immensely larger than their vote, though that 
is substantial; with proportional representation they would have 
come out of even the cataclysm of 1945 fifty strong and have 
held the political balance. It may have to be confessed that the 
sheer reason of P.R. is now less attractive to the bigger parties 
than it has ever been. But it is too soon to assert that the Liberal 
Party has dropped out of the race as an independent party and 
that the “ Progressive movement ” of the future has to be sought 
cither in Labour with a faint Liberal fringe or in a liberalised 
Conservatism. We cannot tell what in these days of world con- 
vulsion the British political alchemy may produce. How long 
will the Labour Party itself remain cohesive ? Is it not in danger 
of outrunning the Left sentiment of the country which, though 



THE GUARDIAN SINCE SCOTT 


240 

strong, perhaps expressed itself in exaggerated form in July 

r 945? 

Two things, moreover, make the present Labour Party 
differ from that of the ’twenties. First, it is no longer dominated 
in the House by the trade union members; it has ceased to be the 
party of an “ interest ” and has become rather more representa- 
tive of the social classes that make up the nation. Secondly, it 
has become more definitely Socialistic. The future historian will 
trace the stages by which the idea of public ownership came to 
dominate Labour’s domestic policy. As late as 1929-31 it was 
largely academic, and the party leaders had no burning deter- 
mination to apply it to major industries, whatever lip-service they 
paid to it as a programme-piece. The Great Depression increased 
its talismanic value; the Baldwinian and Chamberlainite ex- 
periments in State-aided industrial self-government (usually 
of a restrictive kind) widened the habit of State intervention. 
The war, with its huge accretion of powers to the State, left a 
situation in which, whatever party had been returned, the 
atmosphere must have been strongly collectivist. The question 
was whether that collectivisation should be diminishing or in- 
creasing. Having the majority, and having its programme 
commitments, the Labour Government has chosen to put its first 
instalment of Socialist measures through. There are wide mis- 
givings whether it has not forced the pace too rapidly. But, as 
so often in our political history, the issues are not clear-cut. In 
every field it has yet chosen there is no plain antithesis between 
public and private enterprise. In every case some amount of 
State intervention is inevitable: it is mainly a matter of pace 
and degree. The consequence of this is a blurring of party lines. 
The tests are not those of doctrine but of practical efficiency, 
of what gives fullest scope for the individual’s contribution to 
the common good, of what secures the widest measure of social 
and economic equality. A progressive paper must hold itself 
free to support and to oppose, to praise and to criticise, without 
being tied to the decisions of any party. The politician’s line is 
frequently tactical, if not actually cynical; the newspaper, as a 
guide of public opinion, has to look rather farther ahead. 



LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


24I 

But the Liberalism for which the Manchester Guardian has 
stood finds the justification of the “Progressive movement” 
even more in international than in home affairs. With the lessen- 
ing of the pressure of poverty and the increase of equality of 
opportunity, which Liberalism and Labour have held as common 
aims, has gone a broad identity of view on the great questions 
of peace and international government, and the place of the 
British Commonwealth and Empire in the world. This was 
always present to Scott’s mind in the days when the small Labour 
Party in the House (apart from its pacifist element) took the 
Radical line, and even more in the years of upheaval after 1918, 
when Labour was so consistently the asserter of Wilsonian 
principles. In the inter-war years there were few international 
issues on which Labour and Liberals found themselves in 
divergence. In their attitude towards German reparations, dis- 
armament and security, towards the diplomatic recognition 
of Russia, the rise of Italian Fascism, the authority of the League, 
the terrorism and predatory aims of Nazism, right down to the 
great test of Munich, the parties of the Left were at one. A wide 
gulf separated them from the men in power. 

The Manchester Guardian can look back on its attitude to 
international affairs in those years with some pride. It seemed 
a losing battle; Liberalism was a decaying faith in Europe; 
British official policy was too often timid and given to appease- 
ment. Scott had been greatly interested in, and disturbed by, the 
growth of Italian Fascism; the care and fulness with which, in 
its foreign correspondence, the paper described the stages in the 
suppression of Italian liberal movements won it the honour of 
having its circulation prohibited in Mussolini’s Italy. When 
the German counterpart of Fascism began to gather force the 
Manchester Guardian, more fully than perhaps any other 
English paper, devoted itself to the exposure of the crimes of 
Nazism. In the field of policy this was, perhaps, W. P. Crozier’s 
greatest contribution to the paper he enriched in so many ways. 
He showed much courage and risked the displeasure of readers 
— and of the British Government— by the persistence with which 
he kept the distasteful subjects of the extermination of the Jews 

Q 



THE GUARDIAN SINCE SCOTT 


242 

and the cruelties of the concentration camps to the front. The 
paper was prohibited from circulation in Germany, and the 
Manchester Guardian Weekly which, under the Weimar Re- 
public, had had a large circulation for a Berlin-printed edition, 
could no longer be distributed there. F. A. Voigt who, as the 
paper’s Berlin correspondent, had studied the pathology of post- 
war Germany since 1919, organised an underground service of 
news from inside Germany, messages that came out under the 
noses of the German authorities. The paper had no illusions as 
to where Hitlerism was leading or as to the futilities of British 
Conservative policy in face of Hitler’s rising demands. The 
revelations of the Nazi documents produced at Nuremberg arc 
the historical justification of those who refused to be deceived 
when to be deceived was the way to popularity and a quiet life. 

The “ Progressive movement ” stood out in two other respects 
— in its attitude to the new forces let loose by the Russian Revolu- 
tion and in its attitude towards India and the dependent and 
colonial peoples. The Manchester Guardian welcomed the 
Russian Revolution with a sympathy that was not dismayed when 
the Liberal Revolution was submerged in a Communist one. 
Through its correspondents in Russia during the Revolution, M. 
Philips Price, Arthur Ransome and Michael Farbman, it treated 
the young Republic with respect and understanding. It opposed 
strongly the policy of intervention and later the exclusion which, 
as we know now, implanted in the Russian mind such deep 
suspicions of the Western world. If, now, after the second World 
War, the original democratic impulses of the new Socialist 
society seem to have been so largely turned into imperialist and 
expansionist channels the “Progressive movement” has not 
wholly lost trust in the possibilities of fruitful co-operation for 
world peace and the extension of social justice. 

Nowhere did the quality of Scott’s liberalism stand out more 
than in the continuous attention he gave to the movements for 
foil self-government in India and Egypt, for a Jewish National 
Home in Palestine, and for an advanced policy of social welfare 
and the extension of democratic responsibility in the dependent 
Empire. In this field, often neglected by the bulk of the British 



LIBERALISM AND LABOUR 


243 

Press, the Guardian has tried to be consistent, and in none has 
it seen causes for which it worked make greater advances and 
become more commonly accepted. 

Now new problems press forward, but in essence they are old. 
The United Nations is the League with a new face, and the 
same spirit that was needed to make the League work must be 
awakened if the United Nations and its complex of organisa- 
tions are not to fail us too. Peace-making after the war of 
1939-45 raises all the difficulties — and more— that faced us after 
the war of 1914-18. The Manchester Guardian then made its 
contribution, notably in the shape of the series of Reconstruction 
Numbers (in four languages) edited by John Maynard Keynes, 
to the understanding of the economic problems of recovery. 
To-day the international spirit is weaker, the bonds of European 
civilisation have worn thinner. But the fundamental conditions 
of peace are unchanged, and the re-establishment of the 
European community (hinging on the wise treatment of the 
defeated peoples) and the building of a firm world organisation 
are ends to work toward in faith, if with tempered hope. At 
least we know better than did the peace-makers of the last 
generation what, in this atomic age, are the penalties of failure. 



THE CONTROL OF THE GUARDIAN 

J . L. Hammons in his life of C. P. Scott has described his 
attitude towards the financial side of newspaper ownership, 
and how the paper, after he became its owner, was “ carried on 
as a public service and not for profit”. From the time he 
acquired the Manchester Guardian in 1907 until his death Scott 
never drew a salary exceeding ,£2,500, devoting all profits to 
strengthening and improving the paper. 

The profits were never large and the ever increasing capital 
requirements of newspaper production swallowed most of 
them. The reserves, however, did prove sufficient to carry out 
the purchase of the Manchester Evening News over the years 
1923 to 1930. The two papers had started under common owner- 
ship but, although always produced by the same plant, they had 
drifted apart after the death of J. E. Taylor in 1905. C. P. Scott 
approved this purchase as a sound business move but he never 
exercised any editorial influence on the Manchester Evening 
News, the guiding hand of which was Sir William Haley’s until 
he went to the B.B.C. in 1943. The two staffs are distinct and 
their conduct and direction independent in every way. The 
purchase proved invaluable, financially, to the Manchester 
Guardian, enabling it to weather successfully a number of 
difficult years which might otherwise have proved crippling. 

There are always people who find it difficult to conceive that 
a newspaper can be independent, and that if it advocates this or 
that opinion it is not serving some base pecuniary motive. When 
the Guardian under Scott and John Edward Taylor opposed the 
Boer War there were the credulous who professed to believe that 
Kruger must own a block of its shares. And since C. P. Scott’s 
death the removal of his powerful and well-known personality 
and the constant changes in newspaper control have made 
rumours recurrent. It may, therefore, be of interest to carry the 
story of the business side of the paper down to 1946, and to 

*44 



THE CONTROL OF THE GUARDIAN 


245 

explain the steps that have been taken to establish its editorial 
and financial independence. 

In 1913 C. P. Scott made the first move to ensure, as far as 
he could, continuity in the conduct of the Manchester Guardian. 
He divided the Ordinary shares, which of course carried the 
control, equally between himself, his son-in-law, C. E. Montague, 
and his two sons, Edward and John. An agreement was entered 
into between them diat the share of any one who died or left 
the paper should be offered to the others. 

The first of the four to leave the paper was C. E. Montague 
who retired in 1925. C. P. Scott waived his right to purchase, 
so the ownership then became: C. P. Scott, one quarter, E. T. 
and J. R. Scott three eighths each. On C. P. Scott’s death on 
January x, 1932, Edward and John became each half owners, and 
it became evident that some fresh agreement would soon be 
necessary. Discussion of this was in progress when, on April 22, 
1932, Edward lost his life in a boating accident, leaving John the 
sole owner. 

There was no lack of suitable colleagues with whom some new 
and similar agreement might be made, but grave difficulties in 
respect of taxation had emerged. In the first place the company 
had to contest a claim from the Inland Revenue for sur-tax on 
the undistributed profits. This was successfully met, but a red 
light had been shown. A greater threat, perhaps, to the desired 
continuity was the attitude taken by the authorities in valuing 
E. T. Scott’s half-share for Death Duties. The Manchester 
Guardian at that time was running at a considerable loss, the 
Manchester Evening Neu/s at a corresponding profit. It was con- 
tended that to continue to publish the Manchester Guardian was 
a personal whim, and that almost any newspaper magnate in 
London would readily pay a very large price for the Manchester 
Evening News alone. As such offers were in feet frequent, and 
considerable, it was difficult to meet this contention. It was 
■'evident from these two happenings that the fiscal system was not 
adapted to accommodate a business run in such an unbusinesslike 
manner. 

Protracted discussion with lawyers resulted in a scheme which 



246 THE GUARDIAN SINCE SCOTT 

seemed to give the best chance of permanence by ruling out the 
disturbing element of private profit and by preventing the possi- 
bility that a sudden death might force a total or partial sale. In 
1936 J. R. Scott permanently divested himself of all beneficial 
interest and formed a trust to which all the ordinary shares of 
the Manchester Guardian and Evening News Limited were 
assigned. Dividends are paid to the trust and must be applied 
to furthering the interests of the newspapers. 

Such a trust cannot be perpetual, so wide powers are given to 
the trustees to reconstitute the trust from time to time. The 
intention is that the period of each trust shall not be excessive, 
so that no considerable change is likely to have occurred in the 
personality of the trustees. While the trustees thus have vested 
in them the whole of the Company’s Ordinary capital, they do 
not exercise control over the policy of the papers. Full editorial 
control is vested in the Editors, A. P. Wadsworth for the 
Manchester Guardian and J. C. Beavan for the Manchester 
Evening News, and business control in the Managing Directors, 
J. R. Scott and L. P. Scott, ultimate control remaining with 
J. R. Scott by virtue of his chairmanship of the Company 
and of the power which he retains to appoint and dismiss 
trustees. This ultimate control, now divorced from any financial 
interest, will pass in time into the hands of one or more suitable 
persons nominated by John Scott or, failing that, by the trustees. 
By this means it is hoped to continue surely into the future the 
traditions of independence and integrity established by C. P. 
Scott. The present trustees are : 

J. R. Scott, Chairman and Managing Director. 

L. P. Scott, Assistant Managing Director. 

A. P. Wadsworth, Director, and Editor of the Manchester 
Guardian. 

Sir William Haley, late Managing Director; now Director 
General of the B.B.C. 

Sir Ernest Simon, late Director (1932-1938). 

E. A, Montague, Director, and London Editor of the Man- 
chester Guardian. 



THE CONTROL OF THE GUARDIAN 


247 

Paul Patterson, President of the Baltimore Sun , Maryland, 
U.S.A. 

The presence of Paul Patterson in this body requires explana- 
tion lest it form the basis of a fresh rumour that American 
interests have acquired control ! For many years before the war 
the Manchester Guardian had enjoyed the distinction, unique 
among British daily newspapers, of being forbidden entrance 
into Germany. In the anxious days of 1940 it was therefore con- 
fidently anticipated that if the worst happened all the British 
trustees would find themselves on Hitler’s black list. Since the 
war this has been amply verified. 

It seemed desirable therefore to appoint at least one trustee of 
higher survival value. For many years the Manchester Guardian 
had enjoyed most cordial relations with the Baltimore Sun — a 
paper kindred in spirit and independence— and with its pub- 
lisher, Paul Patterson. He undertook to become a trustee in the 
hope, if need arose, of raising the standard once more after the 
flood had subsided. The trust deed was thereupon sent across the 
Atlantic, to be returned on July 26, 1946, when at a little ceremony 
in Manchester Paul Patterson handed back the doc um ent for 
custody in the Manchester Guardian offices. 

No trust, however skilfully framed, can guarantee a news- 
paper’s permanence. It must have a sound business foundation. 
It can be independent only as long as it is commercially suc- 
cessful. But, provided that it can maintain the confidence of its 
readers, attract a steady flow of new subscribers as old ones pass 
away, and strengthen its value for the advertiser as a means of 
contact with the public, there is a sound future for the serious 
newspaper even in the difficult conditions of modern production. 
That its circulation is now larger than at any time in its history 
and twice as large as it was in the early nineteen-thirties is some 
justification, at least, of the Manchester Guardian’s efforts to 
keep its ownership and control independent of any outside 
interest or combine. 




1831 

ADVERTISEMENT OF A PATRICROFT SCHOOL 


INDEX 


Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 135 
Acton, H. M., 29 
Adult Suffrage Bill, 54 
Agadir, 47 
Agate, James, 136 
Ainsworth, W. Harrison, 130 
Allen, Peter, 29, 34 
Amery, L. S., 146 
Amrita Bazar Patrika , 122 
Anti-Corn Law League, 19 
Archer, William, 135 
Armstrong, Walter, 37, 125, 137 
Armstrong, William, 137 
Arnold, Sir Arthur, 122 
Arnold, Matthew, 114, 134 
Arnold, William T., 38-41, 80, 85, 114, 
*35 

Asquith, H. H. (Earl of Oxford and 
Ascjuith), 40, 59, 63, 65, 208, 238 
Associated Press of Australia, 122 
Athenaeum, The Manchester, 21 
Atkins, J. B., 38, 122, 146 
Ayres, Ruby M., 98 

Bag aria, caricaturist, 128 
Baker, Miss Silvia, 129 
Balbriggan, the sacking of, 62 
Baldwin, Stanley (Lord), 66, 68, 238 
Balfour, Arthur (Lord), 44, 53, 59, 222 
Baltimore Sun , 122, 247 
Barker, H. Granville, 136 
Barrie, Sir James M., 69, 136 
Baxter, Edward, 18 
Beavan, J. C., 246 
Beerbohm, Sir Max, 128 
Bennett, Arnold, 69, 136 
Bennett, Sir W. Stcrndale, 143 
Bickerstaff, Isaac, 140 
Birkenhead, 1st Earl of, 213 
Black and Tans, The, 62 
Blom, Eric, X45 
Boardman, Harry, 121, 147 
Bodichon, Madame, 36 
Boer War, 1899, 41, 81 
Bona via, Ferrucio, 145 
Bone, James, 124, 125 
Bone, Sir Muirhead, 128, 148 
Braham, John, 141 
Brailsford, H. N., 146 
Brcitscheid, Dr. R., 69 
Bridges, Robert, 68 


Brighouse, Harold, 136 

Bright, Jacob, 39 

Bright, John, 28 

Brown, Ivor, 138, 146, 151 

Brown, Ford Madox, 76 

Bryce, James (Viscount), 37, 41, 43, 61 

Burton, William, 126 

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Henry, 40, 41, 

2 39 

Capek, the brothers, 128, 138 

Cardus, Neville, 144, 153 

Carr, Corny ns, 37 

Carr, Philip, 135 

Carson, Lord, 59 

Casson, Lewis, 136 

Catalini, Madame, 142 

Cecil of Chelwood, Lord, 63 

Chamberlain, Joseph, 39, 44, 218 

Chamberlain, Sir Austen, 171, 213 

Chantrcy Bequest Inquiry, 125 

Chopin, Frederic, 142 

Churchill, Winston S., 43, 52, 65 

Clemenceau, Georges, 187, 19 1 

Cobbctt, William, 19 

Cobdcn, Richard, 19, 21, 28, 85 

Collins, Michael, 214 

Combination Act of 1825, The, 22 

Conway, Sir Martin, 126 

Cook, Sir Frederick, 126 

Cook, John, 36 

Cook, Rachel, 36 

Cookman, A. V., 147 

Corn Laws, 27, 28 

Couper, John, 29, 34 

Courtney, Lord, 220 

Coward, T. A., 151 

Craig, Sir James (Lord Craigavon), 213 

Creighton, Bishop Mandell, 37 

Crimea, The, 27 

Crozier, M., 148 

Crozier, W. P., 13, 91, 150, 154, 230, 241 
Curzon, 63 

Daily News, 27 
Dawson, Geoffrey, 58 
Day, Lewis, 126 
Delcassl, Th6ophile, 44 
Dell, Robert, 127, 146 
Derby, the 17th Earl of, 63, 69 
Dickinson, G. Lowes, 146 



250 


INDEX 


Dillon, John, 58, 59 
Dill, Sir Samuel, 37, 58 
Dodd, Francis, 129 
Douglas-Pennant, Miss Violet, 94 
Dowman, Richard, 29, 34 
Drinkwater, John, 137 
Duckworth, William, 18 

Edward VII, King, 148 
Elgar, Sir Edward, 143 
Eliot, George, 36 
Eliot, Charles W., 61 
Elizabeth, Princess, 149 
Elton, Oliver, 38, 135 
Emanuel, F. L., 129, 148 
Epstein, Jacob, 42, 69, 125 
Ervine, St. John, 137 
Evans, Sir Arthur, 37, 38, 126 

Fallowfield, The Firs, 36, 129 

Farbman, Michael, 242 

Fascism, Italian, 241 

Fawcett, Dame Millicent, 63 

Fildes, Sir Harry, 206 

Fisher, Admiral Lord, 52, 126 

Fitton, Hedlcy, 148 

Fletcher, Hanslip, 129 

Fowler, Sir Henry, 41 

Fraser, James, Bishop of Manchester, 35 

Freeman, E. A., 37 

Fremantle, George, 76, 143 

Fry, R. H., 157 

Furneaux, Philip, 33 

Gaiety Theatre, 135 
Galsworthy, John, 69, 94, 136 
Gambetta, 36 

Garnett, Jeremiah, 17, 18, 23 
Garvin, J. L., 58 
George V, King, 72 

George, D. Lloyd, 41, 52, 59, 64, 65, 73, 
88, 101, 174, 179, 187, 211, 214, 237 
Gibson, T. Milner, 28 
Gladstone, W, E., 33, 39, 122 
Glaspcll, Susan, 138 
Gray, Cecil, 145 
Green, Canon Peter, 151 
Gretton, R. H., 123 
Grey, Sir Edward (Viscount), 41, 59, 66 
Gwynn, J. T„ 146 

Haldane, Lord, 41 
Haley, Sir William, 11, 244, 247 
Halle, Sir Charles, 142 
Halliday, F. W., 126 
Hamer, F. E., 153 
Hamilton, J. G., 146 
Hammond, J. L. 31, 146, 244 
Handel's Messiah , 141 
Hankin, St. John, 136 


Harcourt, Sir William V., 41 
Hardie, Kcir, 148 
Hardy, Thomas, 39 
Harland, John, 21 
Harper, Mr., 142 
Ha ward, Lawrence, 126 
Hawes, William, 31 
Hawke, E. G., 126 
Hicks, Bishop E. L., 151 
Hill, Granville, 140 
Hitler, Adolf, 242 

Hobhouse, L. T., 41, 53, 61, 84, 117, 235 

Hobson, J. A., 42 

Hobson, Oscar, 159 

Holstein, Baron, 44 

Home Rule Bill 1913, 57 

Horniman, Annie E. F., 135 

Houghton, Stanley, 136 

Housman, Laurence, 125, 126 

Hueffer, O. M., 126 

Hughes, Judge Thomas, 29, 122 

Hunt, Holman, 125 

Ibsen, Henrik, 138 
Ilbcrt, Owen, 33 
Illingworth, Percy, 51 
Irish National Players, 135 

Jackson, Sir Barry, 137 

Jackson, Dr. George, 151 

Jacobson, William (Bishop of Chester), 33 

Jameson Raid, The, 42, 81 

Jefferies, Richard, 37 

Johnson, Thomas, 18 

Johnstone, Arthur, 76, 143 

Jones, Henry Arthur, 134 

Jowett, Benjamin, 32 

Kaiser, Georg, 138 
Kersal, The Breeze, 36 
Keynes, John Maynard, 61, 243 
Khaki Election 1900, 43 
Kruger, Paul, 42, 244 

Lamb, Henry, 129, 148 
Langford, Samuel, 144 
Lansdowne, Lord, 44, 53, 59 
Law, A. Bonar, 57, 59 
Leach, George E., 146, 147 
League of Nations, 61, 71 
Lee, A. L., 153 
Liberal League, The, 41 
Liberal Yellow Book (1928), 238 
Liddell-Hart, B. H., 155 
Linford, M. A., 148 
Liszt, Franz, 140 
London Letter, 27, 29, 122 
Long, James, 150 
Long, Walter, 59 
Loreburn, Lord, 41, 43, 57, 58 



INDEX 


251 


Ludcndorff, General Erich von, 89 

MacColl, D. S., 125 
MacDonald, Ramsay, 66, 237 
McKenna, Reginald, 43 
Maclean, J. M., 29 
McNaught, W., 145 
Malibran, Madame, 24 
Manchester Chamber of Commerce, 21 
Manchester Courier, 18 
Manchester Evening News, 245 
Manchester Examiner , 18, 38 
Manchester Festivals, 14 1 
Manchester Liberal Association, 48 
Manchester Volunteer, 23 
Masefield, John, 136, 151 
Massingham, H. W., 122 
Mechanics’ Institute, The, 21 
Medical School, The Manchester, 21 
Melland, Norman, 155 
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix, 142 
Mestrovic, Ivan, 127 
Metropolitan Association, 31 
Metternich, August, 47 
Milborne Port, Somerset, 31 
Mill, John Stuart, 31, 85 
Mills, William Haslam, 147 
Milner, Alfred (Lord), 41 
Monkhouse, Allan N., 38, 131, 135, 136, 
*54 

Montagu Commission, 226 
Montague, C. E., 38, 41, 75, 85, 92, 115, 

I 35. i3 6 . M 6 . 2 45 
Montague, E. A., 153, 155, 247 
Moore, Sturge, 126 
Morley, John (Viscount), 23, 41, 58 
Mundella, A. J., 123 
Munich, 241 

Murray, Prof. Gilbert, 61 
Mussolini, Benito, 241 
Myers, Wallis, 155 

Nansen, Fridtjof, 72 
Nash, Vaughan, 1 a 6 
National Liberal Club, 67, 238 
Nevinson, H. W., 146 
Newman, Ernest, 76, 144 
Newman, W. L., 33 
Newton, Eric, 126 
Nichols, H. D., 17, 114, 152 
Nitti, Signor, 72 

Observer , The, 48 
O’Casey, Sean, 138 
O’Neill, Eugene, 138 
Owens College, 21, 37 
Owens, John, 37 

Oxford and Asquith, Earl of, see Asquith, 
H.H. 


Page, Walter H., 59 

Palmerston, 3rd Viscount, 28 

Palmstierna, Baron, 72 

Parnell, Charles Stewart, 218 

Parry, Sir Hubert, 143 

Paton, J. L., 106 

Patterson, Paul, 247 

Peace Conference 1918, 61 

Pennell, Joseph, 129 

Perrot, Francis, 147 

Peter loo, 18, 20 

Philips, George, 18 

Philips, Robert, 18 

Phillips, Gordon, 151 

Phillips, Stephen, 137 

Pinero, A. W., 134 

Pirandello, Luigi, 138 

Plunkett, Sir Horace, 59 

Ponsonby, Arthur (Lord), 151 

Potter, Richard, 18 

Potter, Thomas, 18 

Press Association, The, 29 

Prestwich, Isabella, 31 

Prestwich, Joseph, 31 

Price, Bonamy, 33 

Price, Morgan Philips, 146, 242 

Priestley, J. B., 138 

Priestley, Joseph, 31 

Pritchard, Charles, 32 

Proportional Representation, 204, 239 

Pullein, Samuel, 18 

Pusey, Canon Edward Bouroni, 33 

Queen Victoria Memorial Number, 127 
Queen's Dolls House, 105 

Raine, Allen, 98 

Ransome, Arthur, 146, 151, 242 

Record, E. W., 147 

Redmond, John, 59 

Reform Club, Manchester, 39, 60 

Reid, Robert. See Loreburn, Lord. 

Reilly, Prof. Sir Charles, 126 

Renan, Ernest, 38 

Rhodes, Cecil, 42 

Rhys, Ernest, 132 

Rice, Sir Cecil Spring, 51 

Rice, Elmer, 138 

Richter, Hans, 143 

Ripon, 1 st Marquess of, 41 

Rooke, Irene, 136 

Roscoe, Sir H. E., 35 

Rosebery, the 5th Earl of, 41 

Rosing, Vladimir, 76 

Rosmer, Milton, 136 

Rothenstein, Sir William, 129, 148 

Rothschild, Lord, 222 

Royal Institution, The, 21 

Russell, George W. E., 123, 151 

Russian Revolution, 1917, 242 



252 


INDEX 


Saintsbury, George, 37 
Salisbury, 3rd Marquess of, 45 
Sanderson, T. Bromiley W., 18 
Sarajevo, 51 

Scott, C. P. — special references : 
birth (1846), 32 
at Oxford (1865), 32 
joins staff of M.G. (1871), 34 
appointed editor (1872), 35 
marriage (1874), 36 
enters Parliament (1895), 42 
death of wife (1905), 43 
Hon. Fellow Corpus (1923), 68 
bust by Epstein (1926), 69 
retirement (1929), 71 
Freeman of Manchester (1030), 73 
death (1932), 74 

Scott, Edward Taylor, 12, 92, 105, 139, 

229, 245 

Scott, John, 31 

Scott, John Russell, 12, 99, 229, 245, 246 

Scott, Laurence, 36, 126, 229 

Scott, L. P. , 246 

Scott, Russell, 31 

Scott, Sophia Russell, 17 

Seeley’s Ecce Homp, 33 

Sclborne, Lord, 59 

Sforza, Count Carlo, 69 

Shaftesbury, the 7th Earl of, 33 

Shaw, G. Bernard, 69, 78, 132, 136, 137, 

138 

Sidebotham, Herbert, 119 

Simon, Sir Ernest, 247 

Simon, Sir John (now Viscount), 66 

Sinn Fein, 58, 89 

Smith, Gold win, 37 

Smuts, General, 72, 183 

South African Argus Company, 122 

Spencer, 5th Earl, 41 

Spender, J. A., 47, 58 

Sprigge, Cecil, 147 

Spring, Howard, 147 

Stamford, Charles Villiers, 143 

Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art Theatre, 138 

Stefannson, M., 69 

Stephens, Catherine, 140 

Stevens, Alfred, 125 

Stevenson, R. A. M., 125 

Stitch, Wilhelmina, 98 

Stockport Garrick Society, 137 

Stracney, Lytton, 128, 132 

Strauss, Richard, 143 

Strindberg, August, 138 

Swanwick, Mrs. H. M., 151 

Synge, J. M., 128, 135, 146 


Taylor, Bernard, 126 
Taylor, Horace, 129 
Taylor, John Edward, 17, 23 
Taylor, John Edward (the younger), 29, 
34, 38, 125, 244 
Taylor, Russell Scott, 27 
Taylor, Tom, 29, 122 
Ten Hours Act of 1847, The, 23 
Times , The , 27, 58, 105, 109 
Thorndike, Sybil, 136 
Torrens, McCullagh, 29, 122 
Townend, T. S., 122 
Trevelyan, Sir George O., 234 
Treves, Sir Frederick, 105 

United Nations, the, 243 
University Act of 1854, 32 
Unnamed Society, the, 137 

Vedrenne-Barker, 136 
V 6 nis 61 os, M., 69 
Versailles, Treaty of, 89 
Victoria, Queen, 127, 148 
Voigt, F. A., 147, 242 

Wadsworth, A. P., 14, 146, 233, 246, 247 
Wagner, Richard, 143 
Walker, F. W., 35 
Wallace, A. S., 130, 134 
Ward, Sir A. W., 37, 130, 135 
Ward, Mrs. Humphry, 114 
Wareing, Alfred, 137 
Webb, Sidney, 235 
Webster, F. A. M., 155 
Weizmann, Dr. Chaim, 52 
Wells, H. G., 69 
Werth, Alexander, 146 
Wheeler's Manchester Chronicle , x8 
Wilhelm II, Kaiser, 51 
Wilkins, Thomas, 18 
Wilkinson, Spenser, 146 
Wilson, Sir Henry, 57 
Wilson, President Woodrow, 59, 6x, 72, 
187, 216 

Winnipeg Free Press , 122 
Women’s Suffrage, 54 
Wood, George William, 18 

Yeats, Jack B,, 128, 148 
Yeats, W. B., 135 

York, Archbishop of (William Temple), 
72 

Young, T. M., 146 


Taft, W. H., 61 


Zola, Emile, 134 




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